Report of Progress and Activities in Prior Appointment Period

Rebecca S. Burton

 I developed two different research projects and began work on them.  One was a comparative study of caching and hibernating rodents in similar environments.  I set up a laboratory that would enable me to study seasonal variation in body mass, metabolic rate, and immunocompetence in rodents and began field work.  I wished to expand this study, so I submitted a grant to the National Science Foundation, which I prepared in collaboration with O. J. Reichman.  In cooperation with Dr. Reichman, I developed an experiment to test my hypothesis that hibernators can manipulate their torpor pattern to combat pathogens. I have completed this experiment and submitted a manuscript based on this work to Functional Ecology.  I did a literature review on the evolution of adaptations to environmental variability and presented results in a poster at the Synthesis in Ecology Symposium hosted by NCEAS in November of 1996.  I also submitted for publication a paper based on my doctoral work and my literature review.  Additionally, I have begun a survey of the mammals of Sedgwick Reserve and have participated in an experiment on the effectiveness of various management strategies for returning plant species endemic to serpentine outcrops to intervening alluvial soils.  I have volunteered in NCEAS’s “Kids do Ecology” program.