Essie Rodgers

LecturerEssie Rodgers

Animal Physiology
Internal Phone: 91202


Research Interests

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 (

Recent Publications

  • Gomez Isaza DF. and Rodgers EM. (2022) Exercise training does not affect heat tolerance in Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology -Part A : Molecular and Integrative Physiology 270
  • Rodgers EM. and Gomez Isaza DF. (2022) Stress history affects heat tolerance in an aquatic ectotherm (Chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Journal of Thermal Biology 106
  • 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
  • Rodgers EM. (2021) Adding climate change to the mix: Responses of aquatic ectotherms to the combined effects of eutrophication and warming. Biology Letters 17(10)
  • 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.