Hi everyone, my name is Lauren and for @pintofscience, I am going to share some of my work with you all today. I’m an ecophysiologist who loves incorporating technology into my research #thisismyscience! #planetearth @LTUresearchers
Unlike other birds, penguins moult all their feathers at once. To prepare, individuals can double their weight. That’s a LOT of extra insulation. Feather synthesis is energetically expensive, so the additional cost of keeping cool in a heatwave can be too much #ThisIsMyScience
Mortality during moult is greatest in hot, dry years. With current climate projections, this is a worry! I'm working out which birds are most at risk, and why. I use thermal images and field respirometry, to investigate thermoregulatory costs of moulting birds #ThisIsMyScience
I found that plump, early moulters used more energy to keep cool compared to their leaner, less feathered friends. Then, in 2019 the greatest known mortality event of moulting Little Penguins occurred at Phillip Island. All recorded deaths were early moult birds #ThisIsMyScience
With @PhillipIslandNP, I'm testing artificial burrow designs that will protect penguins from extreme heat events. It's an interim solution to be implemented alongside appropriate vegetation management. The aim is to buy time while we work towards a cooler future #ThisIsMyScience
You can follow @loz_tk.
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