Mark Brigham is Professor of Biology. The long-term objective of his research program is to assess the physiological and ecological implications of, and the conditions that select for, the use of torpor by endotherms. Mark’s lab uses a comparative approach involving phylogenetically distinct taxa enabling a general assessment of how animals cope with energetic constraints. They focus on insect-eating bats (Vespertilionidae mostly) and nocturnal birds (nightjars; Caprimulgiformes), which converge ecologically and physiologically. Mark’s program combines observational and experimental components aimed at providing a broad view of how evolutionary “problems” are solved, while contributing directly to our understanding of the environmental physiology and ecology of both groups.
Short-term objectives include: