Phenotypic Plasticity in a Changing Climate

How quickly can animals acclimate?

In response to an environmental change, animals can compensate through the process of acclimation – e.g. by altering muscle fiber size and type, capillarization, membrane composition, mitochondria density, the type and kinetic properties of metabolic enzymes, gill thickness, and ventricular composition. We are examining how quickly different processes can acclimate to environmental stressors.

Funding support: Worster Award

What are the costs, limits, and trade-offs of phenotypic plasticity?

One way that animals can cope with environmental change is through phenotypic plasticity, or reversibly changing their morphology (structure) and physiology (function) to better match the new environmental conditions. Our team is investigating the costs and limits of plasticity, and how this varies across species.

Collaborators: Alex Little
Funding support: NSF Santa Barbara Coastal LTER, Coastal Fund