My research focuses primarily on how plasticity in patterns of energy usage in a wide sense interacts with ecological constraints to pre-adapt animals to conditions experienced during their annual cycle. Much of this work has centered on factors affecting energy expenditure during avian incubation and how variation in energetic requirements carry over to conditions experienced by developing embryos. In particular, I am interested in how incubating parents trade-off allocation of effort to simultaneous and exclusive processes, such as minimizing their own energy expenditure whilst maintaining eggs at temperatures compatible with embryonic development and avoiding predation by minimizing the extent of parental behaviors close to the nest, and if the resolution to this paradox differs within and between species.
I also take a large interest in energy management strategies during winter in resident birds.I am chiefly interested in what governs the relationship between energy use and nocturnal heterothermy (a regulated, reduction of body temperature) and currently pursue a number of trajectories within this general framework. Recently, much of my work has centered on heterothermic responses in relation to food availability and climatic conditions, the effects of immune activation on optimal energy use and adaptive body temperature reductions, and inter-specific differences in the patterns and dynamics of heterothermia. Part of this work is done in collaboration with Johan Nilsson, Sandra Chiriac and Dennis Hasselquist & Jan-Åke Nilsson.