Using museum collections to track adaptations
Species respond to climate change in three ways:
1) move to track the conditions they prefer
2) adapt to meet the new challenges they face
3) face local extirpation or extinction
Animal movement in response to climate is fairly well documented, as, unfortunately, are species declines. There are a growing number of studies that address adaptive change, but most focus on one or two species at a time. I want to know, in broad terms, what traits make a species more likely to undergo morphological change, and what kinds of changes they face in response to shifting climate conditions, including increased climate variability.
I am using museum specimens, both skeletal and fluid preserved, to investigate trends in body size and other physiologically important structures across climate gradients in time and space.
Rangewide survey for the giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens)
I managed a remote survey for giant kangaroo rats in which giant kangaroo rat burrow mounds were detected using ESRI basemap imagery covering the species historic range and surrounding area totalling up to 17,375 square kilometers.
Small mammal trapping
UAV and sign surveys
Other research experience
I worked as a field biologist for a couple of years in between finishing my undergrad degree and starting at HSU. Some of the highlights include:
Carrizo Plain Ecosystem Project (7 years of participation in this project as both an intern and crew lead!) (San Luis Obispo co. CA)
Small mammal trapping in the Redwood State and National Parks (Humboldt co. CA)
Field manager for the Kakamega Monkey Project (Isecheno, Kenya)
Data collection for baboon behavior study (Cape Town, South Africa)