UC Berkeley Chancellor's Fellow
I'm broadly interested in the behavioral strategies organisms employ to cope with rapid environmental change. My current research focuses on the ecology of two chipmunk species in the Eastern Sierra Nevada of California, the lodgepole chipmunk (Tamias speciosus) and the alpine chipmunk (Tamias alpinus). These species co-occur in significant portions of their range, but over the past century, the alpine chipmunk has experienced significant upward contractions of its elevational range, while the lodgepole chipmunk's distribution has remained relatively unchanged. There is evidence suggesting these ecologically similar species may differ in their capacity to cope with rapid environmental change, which naturally leads me to wonder if individual behavioral plasticity could play any role in these differential population level responses. To address this, I'm using in-situ behavioral trials and mark recapture studies of free living animals of each species, as well as developing lab techniques to assess individual and interspecific variation in ecophysiological traits.
Let me know if you have any question/want to chat!
Email me: kwasi_wrensford@berkeley,edu