The Robert Lunz Group
Representing Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton and Dorchester Counties in South Carolina
Monthly Membership Meeting
Membership meetings occur at 7:00-8:30pm on the first Thursday of each month at Baruch Auditorium, 284 Calhoun Street, downtown Charleston. (Part of the MUSC campus) Click here for directions.Click here for a map.
Animals often "are what they eat," but they also "are" a representation of their life experiences and the environment in which they live. Their outward appearance can both literally and figuratively reflect their physiology, nutrition and overall health. Evidence from a wide variety of taxa supports the hypothesis that an animal's phenotype--the external manifestation of its genes, or what you actually observe--can signal features such as its stress levels on different time scales, its reproductive receptivity, even its developmental history. Dr. Nolan’s previous research has studied the use of that information by individual birds making mate choice decisions, but we can also use it to assess the condition of birds encountered in the wild.
Antarctic penguins display a variety of colors in their feathers, feet, and beak. Those colors depend on pigments gained from the environment, and represent a tradeoff between pigment use in signaling vs. use in the immune system. Stressors in the animals' environment should be reflected in their integumentary color, and may also be captured as elevated stress-hormone levels as measured in feather samples. Dr. Nolan will describe a new project in which he and his colleagues are examining variation in penguins' stress levels relative to characteristics of their physical and social environment.
Dr. Paul Nolan is Associate Professor of Biology at The Citadel. With an interdisciplinary background, he holds degrees in Environmental Resource Management (B.S.; Penn State), Avian Sciences (M.S.; Univ. of California, Davis), and Zoology (Ph.D.; Auburn University). His research interest in the integrative field of animal behavior requires looking broadly at animals to determine the many factors that can influence complex behaviors. His specific research interests fall into three categories: mate choice by penguins and other birds, avian community use of human-impacted environments, and animal disease ecology.
Dr. Nolan’s teaching expertise ranges from presentations to elementary and middle school children, to beginning and advanced college-level students, to graduate students, both as a major advisor of M.S. research and as a mentor for teaching interns in MUSC’s teacher training program.
If you weren't in such a hurry the mountains could stay mountains!
Save the dates for these upcoming programs at Baruch Auditorium, 284 Calhoun Street:
Thursday, Dec 4, 7 pm – “Applying Evolutionary Theory to Antarctic Conservation." Paul Nolan, PhD
Thursday, Dec 18, 6pm-8pm - Lunz Group Holiday Party 2014 Triangle Char & Bar, 828 Savannah Highway
Thursday, January 8, 2015 7pm - "Canoeing the upper Missouri River; Hiking in Glacier National Park". Bill Turner, Esq.
(Baruch Auditorium on MUSC campus at 284 Calhoun St)