William J. Mautz 

Professor of Biology 

Department of Biology
University of Hawaii at Hilo
200 W. Kawili St

Hilo, HI 96720-4091

Email: mautz@hawaii.edu


Links on this site: 


My research interests are in animal physiological ecology and environmental toxicology. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine, where I developed my interests in physiology and ecology while exploring the deserts of southern California and Baja California. I went to graduate school at Cornell University to study herpetology and escaped the cold New York winters doing a thesis project on physiological adaptations of xantusiid lizards. Field work on the diversity of Xantusiidae involved habitats ranging from the deserts of North America through the tropical forests of Mexico and Central America.

After receiving my Ph.D. in Environmental Physiology from Cornell, I did postdoctoral research at UCLA studying the consequences of herbivory for dietary energy flow in small desert lizards. In Los Angeles, I got interested in air pollution, and I took another postdoctoral position and then faculty research position in the Department of Community and Environmental Medicine at UC Irvine. Over the next 15 years at UCI’s Air Pollution Health Effects Laboratory I became an inhalation toxicologist. I studied the effects of common urban air pollutant compounds, such as ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, nitric acid vapor, and suspended particles on structure and function of the respiratory system. These investigations included study of synergistic toxic interactions between oxidant and acid air pollutants and enhancement of oxidant inhalation injury by exercise during exposure.

Current Research Interests:

My current research work combines my interests in physiology and ecology in projects with undergraduate students and graduate students in the Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science masters degree program. One set of projects concerns the dynamics of the invasion of Hawaii by a Puerto Rican treefrog, Eleutherodactylus coqui.

In a National Science Foundation supported collaboration with Drs. Becky Ostertag , Flint Hughes, and Paul Klawinski, we are investigating the impact on Hawaiian forest ecosystems of dense populations of these frogs layered onto the earlier invasion of the nitrogen-fixing and forest-transforming albizia tree, Falcataria moluccana. Graduate students researching coqui frogs include Raymond McGuire who is studying frog population dynamics in different forest types.  Miya Warrington is characterizing the sonic field of the coqui chorus in relation to environmental variables and population density.  Rogelio Doratt is researching the mechanism of frog sensitivity to chemical exposure of the skin.  Shenandoah Marr completed a comparative study of coqui parasite loads between native populations in Puerto Rico and introduced populations in Hawaii.

In collaboration with former postdoctoral researcher and now assistant professor at Chaminade University, Mike Dohm, I am continuing inhalation toxicology studies with a comparative approach. We are investigating the effects of the air pollutant compounds, sulfur dioxide (found in volcanic emissions) and ozone (the old favorite urban oxidant gas) on the respiratory tract of amphibians and reptiles. We measure how these pollutant compounds affect physiological functions including breathing patterns, oxygen consumption, body temperature regulation, and lung immune system defenses. Most previous studies of air pollution effects looked at plants, humans, and laboratory animals, and there are almost no studies of the effects on wildlife. Air pollution may be influencing the decline of populations of frogs and other wildlife in habitats near urban centers.

I am continuing work on xantusiid lizards and island biology with a long-term demographic study of the federally listed threatened island night lizard on San Clemente Island, California. The island night lizard is found on only three of the California islands, all heavily damaged by exotic mammalian herbivores like feral goats, pigs, and rabbits as well as a history of sheep and cattle ranching. Xantusia riversiana is sensitive to ecological disturbance, because it has a small distribution and exceptionally low growth and reproductive rates. Goats and pigs have recently been removed from San Clemente Island, and I am studying the lizard's response to vegetative recovery and potential increased incidence of wildfires and weed growth on the island.

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Courses Taught 

General Biology (BIOL 101)
Human Anatomy and Physiology I (BIOL 243)
Human Anatomy and Physiology I Lab (BIOL 243L)
Human Anatomy and Physiology II (BIOL 244)
Human Anatomy and Physiology II Lab (BIOL 244L)
Ecological Animal Physiology (BIOL 443)
Ecological Physiology (CBES 655)
Intermediate Cell and Molecular Biology (BIOL 270) 

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Selected Publications

Marr, S.R., Mautz, W.J., and Hara, A.H. Parasite loss and introduced species: a comparison of the parasites of the Puerto Rican Tree frog, (Eleutherodactylus coqui), in its native and introduced ranges. Biol. Invasions. In Press. 2007.

Dohm, M. R., W. J. Mautz, R.E. Doratt, and J.R. Stevens. Ozone Exposure Affects Feeding and Locomotor Behavior of Adult Bufo marinus. Environ. Toxicol. and Chemistry. In press. 2007.

Woolbright, L.L, Hara, A.H., Jacobsen, C.M., Mautz, W.J., and Benevides, F.L. Jr. Population densities of the Coqui, Eleutherodactylus coqui (Anura: Leptodactylidae) in newly invaded Hawaii and in native Puerto Rico. J. Herpetology. 40:80-84. 2006.

Werner, Y.L., Takahashi, H., Mautz, W.J., and Ota, H. Behavior of the terrestrial nocturnal lizards Goniurosaurus kuroiwae kuroiwae and Eublepharis macularius (Reptilia: Eublepharidae) in a thigmothermal gradient. J. Thermal Biology. 30:247-254. 2005.

Dohm, M.R., Mautz, W.J., Andrade, J.A., Gellert, K.S., Salas-Ferguson, L.J., Nicolaisen, N., and Fujie, N. Effects of ozone exposure on nonspecific phagocytic capacity of pulmonary macrophages from an amphibian, Bufo marinus.  Environ. Toxicol. and Chemistry. 24:205-210. 2005

Mautz, W.J. and Dohm, M.R. Respiratory and behavioral effects of ozone on a lizard and a frog. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. Part A. Molecular and Integrative Physiology. 139: 371-377. 2004.

Mautz, W.J. Exercising animal models in inhalation toxicology: interactions with ozone and formaldehyde. Environmental Research 92(1):14-26. 2003

Dohm, M.R., Mautz, W.J., Looby, P.G., Gellert, K.S., and Andrade, J.A. Effects of ozone on evaporative water loss and thermoregulatory behavior of marine toads, Bufo marinus. Environmental Research. 86:274-286. 2001. 

Mautz, W.J., Kleinman, M.T., Bhalla, D.K., and Phalen, R.F. Respiratory tract responses to repeated inhalation of an oxidant and acid gas-particle air pollutant mixture. Toxicological Sciences. 61:331-341. 2001. 

Mautz, W.J. and Nagy, K.A. Xantusiid lizards have low energy, water, and food requirements. Physiol. Biochem. Zool. 73: 480-487. 2000. 

Kleinman, M.T., Mautz, W.J., and Bjarnason, S. Adaptive and non-adaptive responses in rats exposed to ozone, alone and in mixtures with acidic aerosols. Inhalation Toxicology. 11:249-264. 1999. 

Mautz, W.J. Animal monitoring. Chapter 6. In: R.F. Phalen, ed. Methods in Inhalation Toxicology. CRC Press. Boca Raton, Fl. 1997. 

Hallman, M., Waffarn, F., Bry, K., Turbow, R., Kleinman, M.T., Mautz, W.J., Rasmussen, R.E., Bhalla, D.K., and Phalen, R.F. Surfactant dysfunction after inhalation of nitric oxide. J. Appl. Physiol. 1996. 80:2026-2034. 1996. 

Wong, C.G., Bonakdar, M., Mautz, W.J., and Kleinman, M.T. Chronic inhalation exposure to ozone and nitric acid elevates stress-inducible heat shock protein 70 in the rat lung. Toxicology. 107:111-119. 1996. 

Finlayson-Pitts, B.J., Mautz, W.J., Lai, C.C., Bufalino, C., Messer, K., Mestas, J., Koch, H., and Lucio, L. Are changes in breathing pattern on exposure to ozone related to changes in pulmonary surfactant? Inhalation Toxicology. 6:267-287. 1994. 

Mautz, W.J. Ecology and energetics of the island night lizard, Xantusia riversiana, on San Clemente Island, California. pp 417-428 In: F. G. Hochberg, ed. Third California Islands Symposium: Recent Advances in Research on the California Islands. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History: Santa Barbara, CA. 1993. 

Mautz, W. J., Daniels, C. B. and Bennett, A. F. Thermal dependence of locomotion and aggression in a xantusiid lizard. Herpetologica. 48:271-279. 1992. 

Mautz, W. J. Calibration of respiratory gas exchange measurements in inhalation toxicology studies. Fundamental and Applied Toxicology. 18:144-148. 1992. 

Mautz, W.J., Finlayson-Pitts, B.J., Messer, K., Kleinman, M. T., Norgren, M. B., and Quirion, J. Effects of ozone combined with components of acid fogs on breathing pattern, metabolic rate, pulmonary surfactant composition, and lung injury in rats. Inhalation Toxicology. 3:1-25. 1991. 

Phalen, R.F., Oldham, M.J., and Mautz, W.J., Aerosol deposition in the nose as a function of body size. Health Physics. 57(Sup. 1):299-305, 1989. 

Mautz, W.J. and Bufalino, C. Breathing pattern and metabolic rate responses of rats exposed to ozone. Resp. Physiol. 76:69-78, 1989. 

Finlayson-Pitts, B.J., Sweetman, L.L., and Mautz, W.J. Effects of oxidant air pollutants on pulmonary surfactant using two isolation procedures. J. Air Pollution Control Assoc. 39:479-482, 1989. 

Kleinman, M.T., R.F. Phalen, W.J. Mautz, R.C. Mannix, and T.T.Crocker. Health effects of acid aerosols formed by atmosphere mixtures. Environ. Health Perspectives. 79:137-145, 1989. 

Mautz, W.J., Kleinman, M.T., Phalen, R.F., and Crocker, T.T. Effects of exercise exposure on toxic interactions between inhaled oxidant and aldehyde air pollutants. J. Toxicology and Environmental Health 25:165-177, 1988. 

Mautz, W.J. and Nagy, K.A. Ontogenetic changes in diet, water flux, and energy expenditure in the herbivorous lizard, Dipsosaurus dorsalis. Physiological Zool. 60:640-658, 1987. 

Mautz, W.J., McClure, T.R., Reischl, P., Phalen, R.F. and Crocker, T.T. Enhancement of ozone induced lung injury by exercise. J. Toxicology and Environmental Health. 16:841-854, 1985. 

Mautz, W.J. Correlation of both respiratory and cutaneous water losses of lizards with habitat aridity. J. Comp. Physiol. 149:25-30, 1982. 

Mautz, W.J. Patterns of evaporative water loss. In: C. Gans and F.H. Pough (eds.), Biology of the Reptilia, Vol. 12, Physiology C., Academic Press, pp. 443-481, 1982. 

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