Challenges of Temperature
Variable temperatures are a near-ubiquitous challenge, facing almost every organism. We are currently addressing an array of questions related to plastic responses to temperature in the burying beetle Nicrophorus orbicollis. These beetles are amazing – they rely on a rare and ephemeral resource for reproduction (small vertebrate carrion), provide extensive biparental care to their larvae, and are extremely sensitive to their thermal environment. And they are locally common and readily breed in the lab! With this ideal study system, we are working towards describing their thermal ecology and the plastic changes in behaviour, physiology, and life history that help them cope with variable temperatures.