Project Overview

Histological changes in muscle structure in birds

Faculty Sponsor

Ana Jimenez (




Global climate change is producing increases in mean winter temperatures in the north-central U.S. but superimposed on this trend is more variability in winter temperatures, including more frequent cold snaps in mid-latitudes associated with weakening of polar vortices. Such punctuated cold periods will require rapid and flexible adjustments of thermoregulatory physiology to match environmental conditions and could lead to physiology-environment mismatches with attendant fitness consequences. Phenotypically flexible physiological responses, including adjustments to minimum (BMR) and maximum cold-induced (summit, Msum) metabolic rates in endotherms, allow organisms to better match metabolic phenotypes to variable climates and can have fitness consequences. The costs of such flexibility, however, are poorly known, are recommended targets of future research, and are critical elements to understand the capacities of organisms to flexibly respond to increasing climatic variability. One said trade-off is in the form of oxidative stress in birds. Two students will be responsible for measuring antioxidant enzymatic capacity, oxidatve damage and total antioxidant capacity in birds acclimated to different thermal regimes. 

Student Qualifications

Completed BIOL181 and BIOL182 series. Preference will be given to students who have taken BIOL311 or BIOL318.

Number of Student Researchers

1 student

Project Length

8- June 24th start date (not negotiable) weeks

Applications open on 10/03/2023 and close on 02/28/2024

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If you have questions, please contact Karyn Belanger (