Climate, Weather, and Animals

Large-scale climatic phenomena drive animal population cycles. Long-term climate patterns drive changes in body size. Extreme weather events drive rapid evolution. From frigid poles and mountaintops to steaming lowland rainforests, climate and weather shape life on Earth. They influence which animals live where, and how those animals go about their daily lives. I study these phenomena, primarily in mammals. Current questions I’m working to resolve include whether moose change their movement patterns on hot days, if bats will lose weight in a warmer climate, and how climate shapes body sizes in North American bats.

Global Change and Conservation

My research obviously has applications for climate change, but climate isn't the only thing changing across the globe. Atmospheric composition, biological communities, disturbance regimes, biogeochemical cycles, the distribution of people on earth and how we use it—all are transforming ever more rapidly. Changes to any one of these often perturb other parts of the system, with big implications for wildlife. These overarching issues drive my interest in ecology and shape my approach to research, so I try to apply my research to conservation as often as I can.