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We strive to understand the evolutionary and ecological mechanisms that generate and maintain biological diversity using population genomics, experimental manipulations, and field studies. Our goal is to not only test basic evolutionary and ecological theory, but also directly inform policy and management decisions that will ultimately determine the fate of biodiversity.

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Alisha Shah and colleagues publish paper in Global Change Biology!

Alisha learning to conduct metabolic rate experiments in her first week of grad school

Congratulations to Dr. Alisha Shah–Ghalambor and Funk lab alumna–for the acceptance of her paper in Global Change Biology! Alisha and team tested the climate variability hypothesis by comparing standard metabolic rates in baetid mayflies and perlid stoneflies across elevation and latitude. Mayflies conformed to expectations, but stoneflies did not. Specifically, we found that metabolic rates of tropical mayflies are more sensitive to (change more rapidly with) increasing temperature than temperate mayflies. Higher mortality and behavioral stress in these mayflies provided further support for our conclusions. Stoneflies seemed to show no variation in metabolic rate across elevation and latitude. This may be a result of their evolutionary history, their generally predatory lifestyle, and/or their long-lived aquatic stage. Our exciting results align with other studies of thermal physiology in this system. We concluded that climatic variation plays a role in shaping thermal physiology, but not equally in all species. This may mean that not all tropical species are equally imperiled by climate change. Some may be less affected by warming even if they live in the same habitat and experience the same conditions as more vulnerable species.

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