UPCOMING SPEAKER BIO
I am most interested in solving real-life biological problems through synthesis of multiple data types and through fitting mathematical models to data. These core interests have led me in a variety of directions. My most recent research focuses on global scale analysis of fisheries, including their current status and future directions, whether fishing down marine food webs is detectable in catches and in ecosystems, and which factors influence patterns in fishery development. I also have a long-standing interest in the human side of fisheries, including fishing behavior and fleet dynamics, and the impacts of individual transferable quotas (catch shares) on target stocks, discards, and the environment. Another major field of interest is the status and trends of large whale populations, particularly blue whales but also humpback and minke whales, interests which have led to papers on abundance estimation, changes in population size over time, and the separation of blue whale subspecies.
The focus of my laboratory is the regulation of insect diapause, temperature tolerance and reproduction. Our interest in diapause ranges from its environmental and hormonal regulation to molecular studies examining diapause-specific gene expression. Our results indicate that a unique set of genes is expressed during diapause, and such genes offer interesting potential as regulators of the diapause response. Current models used in our diapause and cold hardiness experiments include flesh flies (Sarcophaga species), mosquitoes (Culex pipiens), and members of Heliothis/Helicoverpa complex. Experiments with temperature tolerance examine insects' responses to both high and low temperatures. Of special interest are the physiological adjustments that prevent cold shock and heat shock injury. Over the last few years, we have also been investigating the physiological and molecular adaptations enabling a midge to survive the harsh environmental stresses encountered in Antarctica. We have also maintained a long-term interest in regulation of reproduction in the tsetse fly, vector of African sleeping sickness.
Research Interests: Quaternary climate change, Environmental history of the Northern Rockies and Yellowstone, Role of people and climate change in shaping fire regimes in the western US, Patagonia, Tasmania, and New Zealand, Using science to inform management and decision making
For nearly 15 years, Dr. Morehouse has been studying the traits that males and females use to interact, with a particular emphasis on color traits and the eyes that perceive them. Other recent interests include understanding co-evolutionary dynamics driving molecular interactions between male ejaculates and female reproductive tracts, nutritional ecology, and the evolution of organismal life histories. Prior to becoming an academic biologist, Dr. Morehouse was a salmon fisherman, a farmhand, a sommelier, and a musician.
A long-term focus of my research has been the inextricable interrelationship between ecology and evolution, and its effect on the functioning of natural systems. My research, and that of my lab, focuses on how organisms are influenced both ecologically and evolutionarily by the complex communities in which they are embedded.
I study human-landscape interactions, including the causes, consequences, and design of land-use change in forest and agroecosystems. Several current research projects address the strategic integration of perennials into agricultural landscapes to meet multifunctional societal goals. Other projects address the establishment of restoration baselines and impacts of restoration practices. I use a combination of historical investigation, field studies, and both quantitative and qualitative inquiry. While my research spans plot (<100 m2) to regional scales (10,000-100,000 km2), my focus is on informing landscape-level (10-10,000 km2) management. The strength of my research lies in synthesis and integration.
The Welker lab's research program centers on three main themes:
Precipitation & Water Cycle Isotope Geochemistry: Quantifying continental-scale processes and patterns in the isotope geochemistry of precipitation, river and lake water as a means to understand the ecohydrology of landscapes and the recording of climate records in proxies such as ice cores, tree rings and speleothems.
Wildlife, Food Web and Migration Ecology: Characterizing Arctic and Boreal carnivore and ungulate diets, landscape use and home ranges using isotope forensics and location information in the study of gray wolves, polar bears, caribou, white-fronted geese, tundraswans, seabirds and shore birds.
High and Low Arctic Ecosystems and Climate Change: Quantifying experimental and observational water, carbon and N cycling responses at the plant and ecosystem-scale of polar semi-deserts, tussock and dry tundra responses to long-term warming, deeper snow and increases in summer precipitation.
I studied zoology at Cambridge, obtained my PhD at Sheffield, and then held a succession of postdoctoral fellowships at the Universities of Uppsala and Edinburgh. I moved to Oxford as a Royal Society University Research Fellow in 2000, became Head of the EGI in October 2002 and became the Director of the EGI and the first holder of the Luc Hoffmann Chair in Field Ornithology in 2004. I was appointed Associate Head of Department in 2011.