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Nicholas Geist


Dr. Nick Geist outside holding baby turtles
Nicholas Geist


(707) 664-3056


Darwin 241

Office Hours

Tue: 10:00 am-11:00 am, 2:00 pm-3:00 pm
Thu: 2:00 pm-3:00 pm

And by appointment


Ph.D. (Zoology) Oregon State University, 1999

Research Interests:
Paleobiology and functional morphology of vertebrates, evolution of reproductive behavior in reptiles, evolutionary biology of archosaurs, western pond turtle (WPT) biology and conservation, and freshwater ecology/restoration.

Research Program:
My current research focus is directed on assessment and restoration of local freshwater ecosystems. Other research focuses are fundamental aspects of western pond turtle biology, especially mechanisms of temperature dependent sex determination, population dynamics, and conservation of the species. Other areas of active research include the evolution of reproductive strategies in crocodiles, dinosaurs, and birds, and lung ventilation mechanisms of archosaurs, with particular attention on pterosaurs.

Course Offerings:
BIOL 130 - Intro to Genetics and Cell Biology
BIOL 131 - Biological Diversity and Ecology
BIOL 224 - Human Physiology 
BIOL 326 - Dinosaurs and Mesozoic Vertebrates
BIOL 328 - Vertebrate Evolutionary Morphology

Selected Publications & Presentations

Temperature Effects on Development and Phenotype in a Free-living Population of Western Pond Turtles (Emys marmorata). Christie, N. and N.R. Geist. 2017. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 90(1): 47-53.

The Role of Incubation Temperature and Clutch in Development and Phenotype of Head-started Western Pond Turtles (Emys marmorata). 2015. 
Geist, N.R., Z. Dallara, R. Gordon. Herpetological Biology and Conservation. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 10 (Symposium): 489–503

Geist, N.R., W.J. Hillenius, E. Frey, T.D. Jones, and R. Elgin. 2014. Breathing in a Box: Lung Ventilation in Giant Pterosaurs. The Anatomical Record 297:2233-2353

Jones, T. D. and Geist, N. R. In press. Reproductive Biology of Dinosaurs. In The Complete Dinosaur, 2nd ed., edited by. J. Farlow, M. K. Brett-Surman and T. Holtz, Indiana University Press.

Ruben, J. A., Jones, T. D., Geist, N. R. 2003. Respiratory and Reproductive Paleophysiology of Dinosaurs and Early Birds. Physiol. Biochem. Zool. 76:141-161.

Geist, N. R. 2000. Respiratory Turbinate Function in Birds. Physiol. Biochem. Zool. 73:581-589.

Geist, N. R. and Feduccia, A. 2000. Gravity-defying behaviors: Identifying models for protoaves . American Zoologist 40:664-675.

Jones, T. D., Ruben, J. A., Martin, L. D., Kurochkin, E., Feduccia, A., Maderson, P., Hillenius, W. J., Geist, N. R. 2000. Nonavian feathers in a late Triassic archosaur. Science 288:2202-2205.

Ruben, J. A., DalSasso, C., Geist, N. R., Hillenius, W. J., Jones, T. D., Signore, M. 1999. New evidence for pulmonary function and metabolic physiology of theropod dinosaurs. Science 283:514-516.