Author Archives: Lampornis

New Group of Undergraduate Researchers Join the Powers Lab

The Powers Lab is pleased to welcome three new undergraduate researchers to the fold this Spring!

Elliot Shannon is a sophomore biology major from Ridgefield, WA. His core project for the next year will be a study of whether or not hummingbirds selectively choose cool microclimates to dissipate heat after hovering in high environmental temperatures. The work will be conducted in the Chiricahua Mountains of SE Arizona. Elliot will be funded by the Richter Scholar Program at George Fox University. Welcome Elliot!!

Elliot Shannon

Nathaniel Shiiki is a junior biology major from West Linn, OR. Nathaniel’s core project will be a study of daytime temperature variation in natural perching microclimates used by hummingbirds throughout the day. This work will also be conducted in the Chiricahua Mountains of SE Arizona. Nathaniel will be funded by the Richter Scholar Program at George Fox University. Welcome Nathaniel!

Nathaniel Shiiki

Tiffany Regier is a freshman biology major who will be working on a variety of small projects including Arctic Tern energetics (collaboration with Dr. Hugh Ellis, University of San Diego) and validation of some changes to our open-flow respirometry protocol. Welcome Tiffany!!

Tiffany Regier

Powers Lab Travels to SICB 2019 in Tampa, FL!

The Powers Lab made their annual trek to the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting held this year in Tampa, FL. It was a light year as only three presentations were connected to the lab. Don gave an oral presentation on the use of shallow torpor by hummingbirds which was a collaborative work with Dr. Anusha Shankar (Stony Brook University) and Dr. Catherine Graham (WSL, Switzerland). Undergraduate researchers Natalie Amodei and Sarah Thompson presented posters on their projects. Natalie presented data on the effectiveness of evaporative heat dissipation during hovering at high temperature in hummingbirds, and Sarah presented on day on daytime weight management by hummingbirds. Both Natalie and Sarah did an amazing job! Former Powers lab undergraduate researcher Sean Powers, currently a Ph.D. student at Virginia Commonwealth University, also presented his work on invasive moths. Overall it was great meeting!

Pizza dinner to celebrate the end of a great SICB meeting!

The lab enjoying the last day of SICB 2019!

Former Powers Lab undergraduate researcher (and Powers progeny) presenting his work on invasive moths at SICB!

Nighttime along the River Walk in Tampa at SICB.

Natalie working her poster at SiCB!

Poster session at SICB!

Our friends at Sable Systems at SICB!

Sarah explaining her daytime body management data during the SiCB poster session.

Don giving his talk on shallow hypothermia in hummingbirds.

Plenary session at the 2019 SICB meeting!

New Study on Range-Edge Lizard Energetics Published in Collaboration with the Powers Lab

Today a study was published in the journal Copeia detailing how lizards at the cool northern edge of their range energetically manage in an excessively cool climate. The results of this study could provide useful information regarding lizard range shifts resulting from climate change. Lead author of the study was Sean Powers (yes, a Powers lab progeny) who is currently a Ph.D, student at Virginia Commonwealth University. Click here to download the paper.

Lab Heads to the Southwestern Research Station in Arizona

The Powers lab collected data on hummingbirds for nearly a month at the Southwestern Research Station (SWRS) from the latter part of May to late June. Collectively we gathered data on nighttime body temperature management, daytime body mass management, and evaporative heat dissipation during hovering. Collaborator Anusha Shankar (Stony Brook University) and Sarah arrived two weeks before the rest of us to finish up measurements showing use of shallow torpor by hummingbirds. Once Don and Natalie arrived measurements of daytime body mass management and evaporative heat dissipation began. While the evaporation measurements were less successful than we hoped, we still ended our time at SWRS with tons of good data.

Day off from work for a mine tour!

Uncommon Lucifer hummingbird being weighed!

Natalie getting ready to remove a hummingbird from the trap.

Blue-throated hummingbird in the flight chamber.

Blue-throated hummingbird taking a drink after being weighed.

Natalie and Sarah changing out feeders at their trapping station.

Sarah setting up her hummingbird weighing system at SWRS.

Natalie minding her open-flow respirometry system.

Sarah trapping a hummingbird!

The infrared video camera ready to measure hummingbird nighttime surface temperature.

Anusha and Sarah arrived two weeks before the rest of us to collect torpor data.

Off to the University of Montana and Collaboration with the Tobalske Lab

Don Powers and Natalie Amodei traveled to Missoula, MT for the lab’s annual trip to work with Dr. Bret Tobalske. Over the years this has been a fruitful collaboration resulting in several publications relating to hummingbird physiology and biomechanics. This year we continued efforts to gather measurements of total evaporative heat dissipation in hovering calliope hummingbirds (Selasphorus calliope) before hopefully expanding these measurements to other species in Arizona next month.

Dinner at the Tobalske's!

GoPro and high-speed video ready to go!

Natalie setting up open-flow respirometry.

Bret Tobalske building the flight chamber.

Calliope hummingbird in the flight chamber.