PhD Student (2017-present)
Agricultural treatments are essential to food production, but many chemicals can have downstream effects on wildlife and the surrounding ecosystem. Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticide with known developmental, reproductive, and behavioural effects on pollinators such as honeybees, but knowledge of the effects on other species at risk are limited. Monarch butterflies make long distance migrations between Southern Ontario and Mexico, potentially exposing themselves to these chemicals along their migratory path. To examine the influence of the neonicotinoid clothianidin on monarch butterflies, I will be using a combination of laboratory and field experiments that assess how early developmental exposure to different concentrations of the insecticide affects migration, reproductive output, and development.
Davy, CM, Donaldson, ME, Willis, CKR, Saville, BJ, McGuire, LP, Mayberry, H, Wilcox, A, Wibbelt, G, Misra, V, Bollinger, T & Kyle, CJ. 2017. The other white-nose syndrome transcriptome: tolerant and susceptible hosts respond differently to the pathogen Pseudogymnoascus destructans. Ecology and Evolution 7: 7161-7170.
Wilcox, A, & Willis, CKR. 2016. Energetic benefits of enhanced summer roosting habitat for little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) recovering from white-nose syndrome. Conservation Physiology 4: 1-12.
Turner, JM, Warnecke, L, Wilcox, A, Baloun, D, Bollinger, TK, Misra, V & Willis, CKR. 2015. Conspecific disturbance contributes to changes in hibernation patterns of bats affected by white-nose syndrome. Physiology & Behavior 140: 71-78.
Willis, CKR, & Wilcox, A 2014. Hormones and hibernation: possible links between hormone systems, winter energy balance and white-nose syndrome in bats. Hormones and Behavior 66: 66-73.
Wilcox, A, Warnecke, LT, Turner, JM, McGuire, LP, Jameson, JW, Bollinger, TK, Misra, V & Willis, CKR. 2014. Behavioural changes of hibernating little brown bats experimentally inoculated with the pathogen responsible for white-nose syndrome. Animal Behaviour 88: 157-164.