Behavioural and physiological ecology, conservation biology The research in my lab focuses on the behavioural and physiological ecology of mammals and birds. We are particularly interested in the relationships among roosting and foraging behaviour, thermoregulation, reproduction and life histories of bats.
The ability to use torpor provides bats with a means of saving energy, but torpor is detrimental to offspring growth and avoidance of predators. We are thus investigating how bats select roosts to balance predation risk and thermoregulatory benefits.
As suitable roosts may limit the distribution of bats, we are also using DNA techniques to determine the landscape-scale patterns of movement among populations, and population structure.
We also study the effects of various types of disturbance on bats. For example, we have investigated the causes and consequences of migratory-bat fatalities at wind energy facilities, and the impact of urbanization on prairie bats.
In the Yukon and Northwest Territories, we are studying how bats succeed in the face of short growing seasons, low temperatures and short nights, and how logging, fire and bark-beetle infestations influence habitat selection.