Understanding how ecological stressors drive changes in animal physiology and behavior and how this affects individual fitness, population dynamics, and ecosystem processes is a central theme in the lab. A major portion of our work also address the transgenerational impact stressors experienced by mothers have on their offspring.
- The interactive consequences of climate-induced vegetation and human disturbance on free-living impala in the Serengeti Ecosystem. This study examines how changes in vegetation, drought, and human disturbance influence the spatial pattern, stress, and nutritional status of impala using GC and thyroid hormones in conjunction with remote sensing data. (Louis Hunninck, PhD student).
- The 'landscape of fear' between pumas, vicuñas and Andean condors; and how does individual physiological condition alter foraging trade-off decision making? San Guillermo National Park, Argentina (in collaboration with Justine Smith, Arthur Middleton, Emiliano Donadio & Jon Pauli)
- The adaptive potential of maternal stress effects in a free-living vertebrate, the eastern fence lizard. This project examined how predator-induced maternal stress altered offspring morphology, physiology and behavior, and ultimately their survival in the wild in a context dependent manner. Solon Dixon Forestry Center, Andalusia, Alabama. (David Ensminger PhD, Dustin Owen PhD, Kirsty Macleod postdoc; in collaboration with Tracy Langkilde)
- The behavioral and neurophysiological impact of predation risk in free-living deer mice. Portland Island, BC, Canada (in collaboration with Michael Clinchy and Liana Zanette)
- Climate-induced changes in seasonality impact the stress physiology of free-living arctic ground squirrels, and linking these changes to differences in reproductive success, behavior and population density (in collaboration with Brian Barnes, Loren Buck and Rudy Boonstra).
- The population status of arctic ground squirrels at a landscape level and better understand potential ecological causes resulting in failed recolonization of squirrel populations. Kluane Lake Research Station, Yukon, Canada. (Jeff Werner PhD; in collaboration with Charles Krebs)
- Predator-induced maternal stress effects in free-ranging snowshoe hares. We found that maternal stress is a major factor in the 10-year population cycle, contributing to the decline and low phase of the cycle (PhD Thesis of MJS, supervised by Drs. Charles Krebs and Rudy Boonstra)