Mark Brigham


Department of Biology, University of Regina

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:

  1. identifying patterns in torpor use by birds and mammals;
  2. addressing questions about why some groups of endotherms employ torpor;
  3. why individuals use torpor when they do and the cues initiating this response; and
  4. why there is flexibility among individuals in their propensity to use torpor.