Danielle L Levesque
I am an evolutionary and ecological physiologist primarily interested in the comparative energetics and the evolution of mammalian temperature regulation. My research lies at the intersections of comparative physiology, ecology and evolutionary biology, and the synergies between these disciplines. Through field and laboratory based experiments, I seek to understand how rigidity or flexibility in metabolism and body temperature regulation affects the energetics of a species, and how their evolutionary history has shaped these patterns.
The data obtained through studying thermoregulation and energetics can have multiple applications. By understanding the dynamics of the relationship between an animal and its thermal environment, we can better predict energy budgets and responses to changes in climate and resource availability. As such, physiological data are vital for the development of realistic, predictive, climate-change models; a large part of the newly emerging field of conservation physiology. The study of these patterns over a wide range of species, especially those retaining pleisiomorphic (ancestral) characteristics, can allow for the formulation and testing of hypotheses on the evolution of thermoregulatory patterns, such as the evolution of endothermy.
Abstracts this author is presenting: