Woods Lab Department of Biology
University of Wisconsin at Whitewater
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marmot on rock Brett Weighing marmot Juvenile sitting on branch

Welcome to the Woods Lab

I have two main interests: Circadian rhythms and dynamics of reproductive success and food resource availability. My interests in hibernation biology have focused on energetics and mechanisms of energy conservation. However, how the brain controls the different aspects of hibernation, such as arousals and onset and termination is poorly understood. I plan to study circadian rhythms of yellow-bellied marmots (Marmota flaviventris) to determine the role, if any, of rhythms in the timing of activities of marmots and how it may relate to hibernation success. I also hope to better understand the relationship between reproductive success and foNorth Pole Basinod resource availability.

Yellow-bellied marmots are herbivores whose food resources are limited to the short growing season of higher elevation mountains of the Western United States. The importance of food resources probably increases for marmot populations at higher elevations, but this is poorly understood. I plan to study marmot populations at higher elevations. Marmots at higher elevations reproduce every other year, but it is unclear if this is a direct result of food resources or other factors. At higher elevations, winters are expected to be colder and longer with greater periods of snow cover. Hence, the growing season will be shorter. I would predict that marmots will have larger home ranges, delayed dispersal and increased sociality.

Contact Brett Woods

Working in my Lab: 

Any undergraduate interested in animal physiology or behavior should contact Brett about research opportunities.  Research is done during the summer as well as the academic year.