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Thursday, September 8, 2011

One more slightly unrelated (but interesting!) thing

So I know that I have yet to really focus on solar energy, the topic of my blog. But I keep coming across interesting things that deserve to be passed on (even if they're not directly related to my subject matter).

I attended a lecture last week by Lauren Buckley, a biologist from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She spoke about an ongoing experiment in which she, and others, have tested the response to climate change by organisms and how their various traits help (or hurt) their ability to adapt. Her main focus has been on reptiles and amphibians, and she talked a lot about her work with lizards. She paid special attention to operative environmental temperature and organisms' activity time (laying eggs, etc). Buckley also looked at body size and insect abundance. One result that she found was that a South Carolina lizard could survive at a broad range of temperatures (as opposed to lizards of other locations that had more difficulty adapting); at this time, she is unsure of the reason for this observation. Something else she noticed when analyzing her mechanistic models was the northern movement of lizards in response to climate change. Another organism that Buckley mentioned is the butterfly. Her models predicted that butterflies would have less flight in lower elevations because of the increased heat, while flight in higher elevations would occur more frequently because of cooler temperatures.

Of course, her lecture included much more data and sophisticated discussion of this topic than I am able to convey, but I wanted to share a little bit and maybe spark someone's interest.  For more information, I recommend checking out her website: http://www.unc.edu/~lbuckley/lab/pmwiki.php/Main/Research

And in case you were wondering, I plan to start writing about solar energy in my next post!

1 comment:

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