My group’s research is at the forefront of the emerging field of conservation physiology, which explores the responses of organisms to anthropogenic threats. We integrate a wide range of tools (respirometry, performance testing, cardiovascular physiology, biochemical assays, field-monitoring, niche-modelling and meta-analyses) to determine the eco-physiological constraints dictated by current conditions and future environmental change.
Currently, our research is focused on how fish, reptiles and amphibians respond to a multivariate set of changes in their habitat. To survive, species must navigate a milieu of stressors (e.g. climate warming, contamination, acidification, hypoxia, invasive species, etc.) and stressors often interact in complex ways. Global climate change is expected to exacerbate the multitude of stressors organisms face, particularly for aquatic species in higher latitude regions, such as New Zealand. Essential to our ability to generate robust predictions of how New Zealand’s fauna will fare in the face of climate warming, is an understanding of the physiological mechanisms these organisms use to respond to multiple threats. Our research explores how exposure to stressors modulates a species’ capacity to cope with climate warming. Specifically, we explore the impact of stressors on thermal acclimation capacity, heat tolerance, and thermal reaction norms of locomotor performance, metabolism and lower-level physiological functions. For more information about my group’s research and opportunities visit our website (www.rodgerslab.com).
- Pillet M., Castaldo G., Rodgers EM., Poleksić V., Rašković B., Bervoets L., Blust R. and De Boeck G. (2021) Physiological performance of common carp (Cyprinus carpio, L., 1758) exposed to a sublethal copper/zinc/cadmium mixture. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part - C: Toxicology and Pharmacology 242 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpc.2020.108954.
- Rodgers EM. and Franklin CE. (2021) Aerobic scope and climate warming: Testing the “plastic floors and concrete ceilings” hypothesis in the estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus). Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological and Integrative Physiology 335(1): 108-117. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jez.2412.
- Rodgers EM. and Gomez Isaza DF. (2021) Harnessing the potential of cross-protection stressor interactions for conservation: a review. Conservation Physiology 9(1) http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/conphys/coab037.
- Rodgers EM., Franklin CE. and Noble DWA. (2021) Diving in hot water: a meta-analytic review of how diving vertebrate ectotherms will fare in a warmer world. Journal of Experimental Biology 224 http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.228213.
- Rodgers EM., Opinion AGR., Gomez Isaza DF., Rašković B., Poleksić V. and De Boeck G. (2021) Double whammy: Nitrate pollution heightens susceptibility to both hypoxia and heat in a freshwater salmonid. Science of the Total Environment 765 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142777.