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Other considerations are tied to the interpretation of the physiological metrics themselves: when and why does physiology change, does it do so in a predictable way, and can it help us understand disturbance and population persistence?Will a single trait provide us with the information we need to make conservation decisions?However, if the budding generation of conservation physiologists include validations as part of their research program it will help us build an accessible toolbox and fully articulate the pros and cons of each physiological technique.The validations I describe above necessitate a commitment to application-driven research.Further, we can prove the value of our techniques by championing them at meetings and conferences, publishing in venues that have both an academic and non-academic readership, taking time to work outside of academia to connect with new collaborators, and inspiring a younger generation of scientists to join the field.
oxidative status; Beaulieu and Costantini, 2014) so we are often looking at patterns across studies that were not designed to explicitly test the utility of a trait in a conservation setting.
She is currently completing a postdoctoral research project with Dr Steven Cooke (Carleton University) and Dr Oliver Love (University of Windsor) focused on delineating logistical and social barriers in the field of Conservation Physiology, and examining the role of the discipline in the Anthropocene.
Christine is a nature-enthusiast, particularly enjoying watching, banding and delivering outreach programs related to migratory birds.
The importance of validating traits is well-illustrated by the vast literature focusing on glucocorticoids as indicators of disturbance and ‘stress’ in wildlife.
My own work has focused primarily on the utility of baseline plasma levels of stress hormones in conservation settings.
In the case of conservation physiology, many of the tools and theories that comprise the sub-discipline are not new, but the moniker itself is a relatively recent addition (Wikelski and Cooke, 2006).