Category Archives: Uncategorized

Undergraduate Researcher Natalie Amodei Awarded Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid-of-Research

Congratulations to the Powers Lab’s own Natalie Amodei who was awarded a Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid-of-Research for her proposal entitled “Can hummingbirds upregulate evaporative heat dissipation during hovering to compensate for loss of passive heat transfer at high temperatures?” Natalie will use the grant to help fund her research in Arizona this summer.

Natalie assembling an open-flow respirometry system.

Powers Lab Part of New Study on Hummingbird Hovering Allometry and Efficiency

Today the Royal Society Proceedings B published a study on hovering metabolic rate allometry and efficiency in hummingbirds that was done in collaboration with the Powers Lab. lead author on the study was Dr. Derrick Groom, who at the time was a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Ken Welch. Full text of the paper can be found at:

Two New Undergraduate Researchers Join the Powers Lab!!

Two new undergraduate researchers, Natalie Amodei and Sarah Thompson, have joined the Powers Lab for the coming year. Both are funded by the George Fox University (GFU) Richter Scholar Program.

Natalie Amodei is a sophomore biology major from Corvallis, OR, and is also part of the GFU Honors Program. Her core project in the lab will be to continue experiments attempting to measure total evaporative heat dissipation during hovering in hummingbirds. Natalie will spend the balance of the Spring semester working out the kinks in her protocol before heading off to test it on calliope hummingbirds in Dr. Bret Tobalske’s lab at the University of Montana. After that Natalie will head to the Southwestern Research Station (SWRS) in the Chiricahua Mts of SE Arizona to collect data on blue-throated, Rivoli’s, and black-chinned hummingbirds.

Natalie Amodei

Sarah Thompson is a sophomore biology major from Ewa Beach, HI. Her core project will be a test of the long standing assumption that hummingbirds engage in hyperphagia just prior to roosting to fill their crop with nectar to fuel a portion of their nighttime metabolism. The idea that hummingbirds engage in hyperphagia was first proposed by the late Dr. Bill Calder in a 1990 study of broad-tailed hummingbirds. Sarah will spend the Spring semester developing her protocol which will involve directly weighing hummingbirds that come to feeders. In June Sarah will travel to SWRS to study mass management in both male and females of three hummingbirds at the research station. Welcome Sarah!!

Sarah Thompson

On the Road in Switzerland!!

Dr. Powers took his show on the road and spend the month of March at WSL (a Swiss federal research institute) in Birmensdorf, Switzerland where collaborator Dr. Catherine Graham had recently moved from Stony Brook University in New York.  The purpose of the trip was to spend focused time working to get products from the NASA grant completed since the end of the project was only a few months away.  Also during this time Dr. Powers worked closely with Anusha Shankar, Dr. Graham’s Ph.D. student on completing manuscripts on hummingbird torpor and energy budgets that were funded by the grant.

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Three New Students Join the Powers Lab!!

The Powers Lab has three new research students for the coming year.  This has been our most challenging year for funding students requiring an unusual amount of creativity!  Emma Bloomquist, a junior biology major and member of the Honors Program at GFU was funded in the traditional way, through our Richter Scholar Program.  Emma will be headed to Dr. Bret Tobalske’s lab at the University of Montana to conduct experiments to determine if hummingbirds can sufficiently disputed heat via evaporative water loss to maintain heat balance during hovering.

Isabelle Cisneros, a junior biology major, had perhaps the most creative path to funding for the coming year raising her support via crowd sourcing on the platform. Probably the best thing about this effort and its success was that the majority of our backers were former Powers Lab research students!  This is a reaffirmation that the work we do in the lab makes a difference in student lives.  Isabelle will travel to the Chiricahua Mountains in southeastern Arizona where she will use infrared thermography to determine if hummingbirds can use shallow torpor (hypothermia).  She will work closely with Anusha Shankar, a Ph.D. student at Stony Brook University who has worked with our lab for several years on torpor studies.  For complete details on Isabelle’s project see our page!

The final student to join the lab is sophomore biology major Kaheela Reid.  Kaheela was funded this year by the GFU diversity program.  This is the first time the diversity program has invested funds in this sort of thing, and we look forward to a successful year so that the program will continue to consider this type of investment.  Kaheela will travel to Arizona along with Isabelle where her core project will be an investigation of how evaporative water loss influences resting metabolic rate in hummingbirds.