How does physiology vary across space?
Animals can adjust physiological traits in ways that helps them live in different environments. My research explores the potential for animals to adapt or acclimate to stressful environments by adjusting physiological traits. My research has found that salamanders from lower elevations can exhibit lower water loss rates possible to minimize the risk of rapid dehydrating. Read more here.
How does physiology vary seasonally?
Animals in temperate climates experience a wide range of climatic conditions throughout the year. These dramatic environmental changes require equally dramatic changes in physiology, all else equal. I am working with Blair Wolf to understand how desert mammals adjust metabolic rates, water loss rates, and body temperature in response to seasonal changes in climate.
What factors influence rates of water loss?
Water is essential for life. Animals that lose water too quickly risk rapidly dehydrating or limit the amount of time they can be active. The physiology of water loss, however, is very complex. Body size, boundary layers, humidity, and windspeed all play critical roles in determining how quickly animals lose water. A major goal of my research program is to improve the field of water loss physiology using experimental techniques and biophysical modeling. Read more here.