Faculty of Science

Looking at how animals adapt

The Comparative Physiology Group looks at what makes some animals special, and how they can adapt to changing environments

For instance, some large mammals can inhabit arid deserts; some birds can fly at altitudes that render humans unconscious; and many marine birds and mammals can feed at great ocean depths. All these traits show how some species have adapted to suit their environments.

The group is especially interested in whats called thermo-regulation, the adaptations that shift the energy cost of maintaining a constant body temperature, or its abandonment in hibernation or torpor.

Part of the research focuses on the ways that individuals can adapt to changing environments during their lifetime (phenotypic plasticity), and how that affects the likely response of species, including humans, to the elevated temperatures of climate change.

The group's research has implications for native animal conservation, animal production systems, and the ability of humans to maintain active lifestyles.

Key researchers/personnel

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