Hilary Lease


  • PhD, University of New Mexico, 2008
  • MS, University of Wyoming, 2000
  • BS, Middlebury College, 1997

Professional Interests

  • Comparative physiology
  • Physiological ecology
  • Physiological and ecological adaptation to extreme environmental conditions

Personal Interests

Running, snowboarding, traveling, hiking, exploring

Research Interests

I am committed to learning as much as I possibly can about how the world works. I am particularly interested in comparative physiology and physiological ecology, with an emphasis on evolutionary adaptation to environment. I find myself continuously awed by the diverse adaptations that flora and fauna have evolved in response to environmental extremes. And I am intrigued that frequently, fairly simple "rules" can explain the intricate and puzzling exhibitions of behavior and function that occur in the natural world.


  • Lease, H.M. and Wolf, B.O. Exoskeletal chitin scales isometrically with body size in terrestrial insects. In review, Journal of Morphology.
  • Lease, H.M. and Wolf, B.O. Lipid content of terrestrial arthropods: effects of body size, phylogeny, ontogeny and sex. In review, Journal of Insect Physiology.
  • Engel, S., Lease, H.M., McDowell, N.G., Corbett, A.H., and Wolf, B.O. 2009. The use of tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy for rapid measurements of the d13C of animal breath for physiological and ecological studies. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectroscopy 23: 1281-1286.
  • Lease, H.M. 2008. Does size matter? The scaling of respiration, energy reserves, and support structures in arthropods. Dissertation, University of New Mexico.
  • Smith, F.A., Crawford, D., Harding, L.E., Lease, H.M., Murray, I.W., Raniszewski, A., and Youberg, K.M. 2009. A tale of two species: extirpation and range expansion during the late Quaternary in an extreme environment. Global & Planetary Change 65:122-133.
  • Lease, H.M., Wolf, B.O., and Harrison, J.F. 2006. Intraspecific variation in tracheal volume in the American locust, Schistocerca americana, measured by a new inert gas method. Journal of Experimental Biology 209: 3476-3483.
  • Morris, J.M., Snyder-Conn, E., Foott, J.S., Holt, R.A., Suedkamp, M.J., Lease, H.M., Clearwater, S.J., and Meyer, J.S. 2006. Survival of Lost River suckers (Deltistes luxatus) challenged with Flavobacterium columnare during exposure to sublethal ammonia concentrations at pH 9.5. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 50(2): 256-263.
  • Meehan, T.D., Lease, H.M., Wolf, B.O. 2005. Negative indirect effects of an avian insectivore on the fruit set of an insect-pollinated herb. Oikos 109(2):297-304.
  • Lease, H.M., Hansen, J.A., Bergman, H.L., and Meyer, J.S. 2003. Structural changes in gills of Lost River suckers exposed to elevated pH and ammonia concentrations. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology 134(4): 491-500.
  • Erasmus, L. and Lease, H.M. 2002. Implications of metapopulation structure for genetic composition and conservation strategies. Proceeds of Complex Systems Summer School, Budapest, Hungary.
  • Lease, H.M. 2000. Histopathological changes in gills of Lost River suckers (Deltistes luxatus) exposed to elevated ammonia and elevated pH. Masters Thesis, University of Wyoming.