top of page

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.

In recent research, former Bonier Lab MSc student Amelia Cox looked at the effects of changing weather (temperature and rainfall) on Tree Swallow populations. You can find publications of Amelia’s research here, here, and here, and a popular science article about some of her work here.



Dr. Fran Bonier, Associate Professor

Queen's University Biology Department

Kingston, ON K7L 3N6 Canada

phone: +01.613.533.6000 x 77024


photo credits

CheYuen Photography: burying beetle

bottom of page