Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Zachary Stahlschmidt

First Committee Member

Jane Khudyakov

Second Committee Member

Tara Thiemann


Artificial light at night (ALAN), or ecological light pollution, is increasingly prevalent worldwide. Exposure to ALAN tends to negatively impact animals—particularly, nocturnal animals—but life-history strategies may mitigate these costs. Animals in many regions are also increasingly exposed to climate-related stressors, such as heat and drought. Yet, interactions among ALAN, life-history strategy, and stress tolerance are unknown. Therefore, I determined if developmental ALAN exposure (1) affects development, (2) affects adult phenotype, including heat and desiccation tolerance, and (3) affects and/or interacts with life-history strategy. To address my aims, I used the variable field cricket (Gryllus lineaticeps) because its geographic range is increasingly exposed to ALAN, heat, and drought conditions; it exhibits different life-history strategies (flight-capability vs. flight-incapability); and it is mainly nocturnal. Although developmental duration and success were not impacted by ALAN exposure, ALAN affected adult phenotype, with a positive effect on body mass, body size, and reproductive investment, and a negative effect on heat tolerance. Life-history strategy also affected stress tolerance—flight-incapable females had greater heat tolerance, and their desiccation tolerance was improved by ALAN exposure. Thus, key features of environmental change (i.e., exposure to ALAN, heat, and drought) may favor some life-history strategies over others.





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