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Omar Morales

Omar Morales
  Dr. Justin Boyles

Climate change and habitat fragmentation as physiological stressors on wildlife

Anthropogenic stressors such as pollution, habitat fragmentation, and climate change are detrimental to the viability and reproduction of organisms not only on a community level but on a physiological one as well. These stressors are of great concern for conservationists. Understanding the specific physiological mechanisms behind conservation problems is becoming increasingly important partly because physiological tools are useful for establishing more precise cause and effect relationships. Implementing physiological methods for detecting problems in conservation helps to refine issues further than conventional methods that would rely on simpler characteristics of a species or population such as abundance and structure. I am interested in implementing both conservation and physiological techniques for identifying biological stress thresholds in organisms and the subsequent effects on behavior. Specifically, I would like to measure energy expenditure and gas exchange in response to anthropogenic induced land changes.