Photo: Adam Stow
Welcome to the Climatic and Metabolic Ecology Lab (CAMEL).
Surely the oldest scientific questions concerned the distribution and abundance of animals. A predictive understanding of the habitats in which certain animals occur, and where in their habitat they might be depending on the seasons, the weather and the time of day, were once critical to everyday human survival. Our research represents a modern take on these old questions, which remain highly significant for conservation, agriculture and human health. Understanding how animals make a living in diverse and changing climates and habitats is also a simply fascinating pure research question.
We take a bottom-up approach to the problem, attempting to understand the basic thermodynamic constraints first – the temperature, water and nutritional requirements. To do this, we integrate physical data on climate, weather and terrain with knowledge of the behaviour, physiology and morphology of animals. To make this integration we use the theoretical principles of biophysical ecology and metabolic theory. In practice, this involves some combination of field work, laboratory measurements and computer simulations.
To find out more, take a look around our site and get in touch if you are interested becoming part of our lab. If you are a prospective student, please read this.