My research is centered on understanding how biochemical processes in ectotherm animals respond and adapt to natural and human-based stressors. In particular, I am interested in the nexus between bioenergetics and life-history traits of ectotherms currently experiencing warming trends associated with global climate change and how these processes are governed by the powerhouse of the cell, the mitochondrion. Using study models ranging from tropical insects to polar fishes, My laboratory explore how climate change can influence the energy balance of ectotherms. On a broader scale, I integrate physiological performance data with climate trends to better understand the role physiological resilience has on the survival of key species in aquatic and terrestrial habitats.
Ongoing projects in my laboratory include:
Project #1- Bioenergetic tradeoffs of freshwater systems in a changing climate. This research project currently involves three graduate students (Derick Lamptey, Kyle Rempe and Ryan Sparks) and two undergraduate students (Rolando Monte de Oca, Oscar Prado). Broadly, this project seeks to understand how shifting climate baselines alter the energetic demands, distribution and abundance of recreationally important fish species. Portions of this project have been presented at regional (ISAS 2019 by Derick Lamptey, AFS regional Meeting 2019 by Kyle Rempe) and national levels (Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Meeting 2019; Derick Lamptey).
Project #2 - Thermal physiology of crop pests. Research project currently involving two undergraduate students (Ali Seiple, Tess Patterson), exploring the role of mitochondrial bioenergetics in shaping organismal fitness of larval stages of common crop pests. Both Ali and Tess are currently collecting life history trait datasets for the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta. In addition, they will employ using high-resolution respirometry to assay cellular energetics. Portions of this project have already been presented and published at a National Conference (Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Meeting 2019).
Project #3 – Ecological physiology of amphibian study models. This project seeks to integrate ecological, physiological and biochemical data to better understand how physiological thresholds shape individual fitness in amphibians, with emphasis in local frogs, toads and salamanders. Currently, this project provides research experiences to one graduate student (Colton Loew) and two undergraduate students (Renata Olvera, Oscar Prado).
Project #4 - The Eastern Box Turtle Citizen Science Project – Sponsored by the Environmental Education Association of Illinois and the Herpetology Club (RSO I also serve as advisor), this collaborative project (Dr. Paul Switzer, EIU Biology) is centered in developing a regional database of images, collected by the community, of box turtles with the objective of better understanding habitat selection, home range and abundance of this vulnerable species.
Martinez E., and Torres, J. J. (2017) Energetics of the Antarctic silverfish, Pleuragramma antarctica, from the Western Antarctic Peninsula, In The Antarctic Silverfish: a Keystone Species in a Changing Ecosystem, pp 149-171, Springer.
May, C., Hillerbrand, N., Thompson, L.M., Faske, T.M., Martinez, E., Parry, D.E., Agosta, S.J. and Grayson, K.L., 2018. Geographic variation in larval metabolic rate between northern and southern populations of the invasive gypsy moth, Journal of Insect Science 18 (4), 1-7.
Martinez E., Menze, M. A., and Agosta, S. J. (2017) Reduced Mitochondrial Efficiency Explains Mismatched Growth and Metabolic Rate at Supraoptimal Temperatures, Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 90, 294-298
Martinez E. and S. J. Agosta (2016). Budget-wise thermal biology: design, construction and performance of a low-cost, scalable temperature-controlled chamber using a simplified, single-phase radiative heat exchanger. Journal of Thermal Biology 58, 29-34.
Martinez, E., Porreca, A. P., Colombo, R. E., and Menze, M. A. (2016) Tradeoffs of warm adaptation in aquatic ectotherms: Live fast, die young?, Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology 191, 209-215.
Martinez, E., Hendricks, E., Menze, M. A., and Torres, J. J. (2016) Physiological performance of warm-adapted marine ectotherms: Thermal limits of mitochondrial energy transduction efficiency, Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology 191, 216-225.
Martinez, E., Vélez, S. M., Mayo, M., and Sastre, M. P. (2015) Acute toxicity assessment of N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET) on the oxygen flux of the dinoflagellate Gymnodinium instriatum, Ecotoxicology, 1-5.
Martinez, E., Menze, M., and Torres, J. (2013) Mitochondrial energetics of benthic and pelagic Antarctic teleosts, Marine Biology 160, 2813-2823.