I study the factors that influence individual success with the long term goal of more accurately predicting the population dynamics of species, especially in response to environmental change. Much of my work integrates field observations with laboratory analyses (stable isotopes, plasma metabolites, stress hormone, intensity of malaria infection) to estimate physiological condition and past events experienced by individuals.
At the University of Guelph, I will examine the effects of climate change on the population dynamics of Gray Jays (Perisoreus canadensis) in Algonquin Park. Evidence suggests that warming winter temperatures negatively affect Gray Jays by spoiling cached food that is meant to sustain them over the winter months. I will be working to disentangle the effects of temperature and major thaw events on cached food quality and long-term population trends in Gray Jays.