Dr. William Mautz

William J. Mautz

Professor Emeritus, Department of Biology, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Updated April, 2021

Please note: I am not accepting graduate students as primary thesis advisor.


William Mautz standing among Uluhe Fern

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. I continued work on xantusiid lizards with analysis of ecological energetics, and while living in Los Angeles, I got interested in air pollution. I took another postdoctoral position and then faculty research position in the Department of Community and Environmental Medicine at UC Irvine, and 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. Moving to the University of Hawaii at Hilo, I began study of effects of ozone on thermoregulatory behavior of lizards and frogs and on phagocytic capacities of amphibian pulmonary macrophages.

Current Research Interests

My students and I are currently studying the invasion ecology of the Puerto Rican coqui tree frog Eleutherodactylus coqui, in Hawaiian forest ecosystems. These studies include population biology, feeding ecology, acoustical properties of chorusing, and development of methods for control of invasive vertebrate populations. I have interests in the effects of air pollutant compounds, such as ozone, on the structure and function of the respiratory systems of reptiles and amphibians. I also have a long-term (30 year) study of the population biology of the island night lizard, Xantusia riversiana, on San Clemente Island, California. This lizard has an extreme life history pattern of slow growth, late maturation, long life span, high population density, and sedentary behavior.

I am currently following up on the re-discovery of the azure-tailed skink on Hawaiʻi Island. This lizard was thought extinct in the Hawaiian Islands, but a small population was re-discovered on an islet off Molokaʻi in 2013. In the December issue of Herpetological Review, I report on a very small population of these lizards that exists on a cliff edge at Ninole on the Big Island, Mautz, W. J. The Azure-tailed Skink, Emoia Impar, Remains Extant on Hawaiʻi Island, USA. Herpetological Review. 52(4) 2021 (PDF). In Press.

Courses Taught

  • General Biology (BIOL 101)
  • Biology II Laboratory (BIOL 176L)
  • 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)
  • Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology (BIOL 125)
  • Intermediate Cell and Molecular Biology (BIOL 270)
  • Ecological Animal Physiology (BIOL 443)
  • Ecological Physiology (CBES 655)

Selected Publications

  • 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.
  • 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. and Bufalino, C. Breathing pattern and metabolic rate responses of rats exposed to ozone. Resp. Physiol. 76:69‑78, 1989.
  • 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.
  • Mautz, W. J. Calibration of respiratory gas exchange measurements in inhalation toxicology studies. Fundamental and Applied Toxicology. 18:144-148. 1992.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mautz, W.J. and Nagy, K.A. Xantusiid lizards have low energy, water, and food requirements. Physiol. Biochem. Zool. 73: 480-487. 2000.
  • Mautz, W.J. Exercising animal models in inhalation toxicology: interactions with ozone and formaldehyde. Environmental research 92(1):14-26. 2003.
  • 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.
  • 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 Hawaiʻi and in native Puerto Rico. J. Herpetology.40:80-84. 2006.
  • 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. 27:1209-1216. 2008.
  • Marr, S.R., W.J. Mautz, and A.H. Hara. Parasite loss and introduced species: a comparison of the parasites of the Puerto Rican tree frog, Eleutherodactylus coqui, in its native and introduced ranges. Biological Invasions. 10:1289-1298. 2008.
  • Benevides, F. L. Jr., Mautz, W. J., and Warrington, M. A piece-wise linear model of the sound pressure level of male Eleutherodactylus coqui overnight chorus. Herpetological Review. 40:162-165. 2009.
  • Seifan, T., Federman, A., Mautz, W.J., Smith, K.J., and Werner, Y.L. Nocturnal foraging in a diurnal tropical lizard (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Phelsuma laticauda) on Hawaii. J.Tropical Ecology. 26:243-246. 2010.
  • Brown, D.E, Mautz, W.J., Warrington, M., Allen, L., Tefft, H.A.T., Galtshalk, L., and Katzmarzyk, P. T. Relation between C-reactive protein levels and body composition in a multiethnic sample of school children in Hawaii. Am. J. Human Biology. 22:675-679. 2010.
  • Mautz, W.J. and H. B. Shaffer. Colonization of Hawaiʻi Island by the brown anole, Anolis sagrei. Herpetological Review. 42:508-509. 2011.
  • Benevides, F .L. Jr., and Mautz, W.J. Temporal and spectral characteristics of the male Eleutherodactylus coqui two-note vocalization in Hawaii. Bioacoustics 23:29-38. 2014.
  • Holmes, I. A., Mautz, W. J., and Rabosky, A. R. D., Historical environment is reflected in modern population genetics and biogeography of an island endemic lizard (Xantusia riversiana reticulata). PLoS ONE 11(11): e0163738. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0163738.2016.