PhD Candidate (2014-present)
Many animals have developed behavioural and physiological mechanisms to respond to extreme environments. One widespread behavioural mechanism to deal with decreased food abundance is food caching, which involves storing food for use at a later time. Once food has been cached it is influenced by a number of factors. Residing in the boreal forests, Gray Jays rely on cached food for overwinter survival and for breeding. For my PhD, I will be investigating how changing climatic conditions and the microhabitat where jay caches are stored influence cache quality over time. As well, I will be investigating the role of saliva in food caching and its potential to act as an adhesive, or a preservative.
Sutton AO, Strickland, D & Norris, DR. 2016. Food storage in a changing world: implications of climate change for food-caching species. Climate Change Responses 3: 12.