Human-caused changes to the environment have a strong influence on animal populations and are pervasive throughout the world. Global climate change has long been recognized as an important factor that can restructure ecological communities and lead to the loss of species. Land use changes similarly changes the composition of natural systems, yet the interaction between climate change and land use is only beginning to be understood. In particular, the roles that behavior and physiology play in influencing how organisms respond to climate and land use changes remain poorly understood despite the key roles they play in mitigating response to environmental changes caused by humans.
My work in this area is aimed at understanding how climate change and land use practices work together to influence the health of animal populations through behavioral and physiological means. This includes research that quantifies how climate-related conditions and intensive management work together to impact organism fitness. Additional work is assessing whether human-caused changes to habitats are linked to individual differences in behavioral and physiological traits to determine the extent to which environmental change leads to phenotypic restructuring of communities.