For most ectothermic animals, behavioural thermoregulation represents a rapid strategy to maintain optimal temperatures and avoid temperature extremes. Despite its importance for mitigating climate warming effects on these organisms, we lack the power to accurately predict the effectiveness of thermoregulation at large scales.
In this talk, I will present some of the research we have been undertaking to test an existing model of optimal thermoregulation and to examine thermoregulatory efficiency of squamates across taxonomic groups and regions. I will highlight priority research questions needed to assess the capacity for behavioural thermoregulation to buffer climate change impacts in ectotherms.
I am an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Botany and Zoology at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. I run the Climate and Invasions in Ectotherms lab (CL•I•M•E) where we use ecology and physiology to address how ectotherms (reptiles and insects) respond to global change stressors and in particular, temperature variation. I am also interested in phenotypic plasticity, including that of colour, physiology and behaviour, and when not in the lab, enjoy rock-climbing and running in the mountains.