Biology: Department Chair and Assistant Professor
Special Interest: Mammalogy, Vertebrate natural history, Physiology of life histories, Resource investment strategies, Ecology and physiology of hibernation
My research focuses on the life-history evolution of mammals. My research has been mostly field-related but now I am working on incorporating laboratory-based elements. For my dissertation, I examined the effects of age and previous breeding experience on survival, reproductive success, reproductive investment, and somatic investment in Columbian (Spermophilus columbianus) and Richardson's ground squirrels (S. richardsonii) . Recently, I have been investigating physiological components of life -history evolution in small mammals. Specifically, I am interested in the physiology of hibernation and resource investment strategies in mammals such as woodchucks (Marmota monax) and jumping mice (Zapus and Napeozapus)
Since I am interested in not only mammals, students who work with me will have the opportunity to a variety of field projects dealing with mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles. Projects can be highly specialized or natural history related. Most recently (Winter 2007), two students (Amanda Smolarek and Kyle Hopkins) carried out a study on winter reproduction of Peromyscus sp. in Rider Park, just north of Williamsport. This summer (2007), Matt Wright, Nathan Hanner, and I are working on a variety of projects involving small mammal trapping in the area around Williamsport. I will be collaborating with the Nature Conservancy on monitoring the effects of different forest treatments on small mammal populations at the West Branch Wilderness Preserve in Clinton County. The treatments include herbicide application and timber thinning and are designed to restore the forest to more "natural" conditions.
My personal website can be found at: http://www.lycoming.edu/~broussar/.