Photos and Phenotypes

Read more about Skyler’s undergraduate honor’s research project:

Skyler recording data on camera trap placement

Skyler recording data on camera trap placement

It started with Dr. Mills asking, “Can you do anything with these?” “These” were 3,400 hare photos from Dr. Jake Ivan’s  camera trap study in Colorado. Though researching lynx, he ended up with thousands of hare images as photographic by-catch, and, having no immediate use for them, gave them to Dr. Mills. Continue reading

Investigating potential modifiers of the timing of hares’ coat color molts

Now that the spring molt is wrapping up I wanted to give you guys an update on the part of the project that I am working on. One aspect of the project focuses on variables that might influence the rate of change of the molt.  A paper by Scott, Marketa and colleagues that documented the molt was just published in PNAS. Continue reading

Answering questions about hare habitat use

Measuring canopy closure

– read about James Goerz’ undergraduate Honors Research Project

My research is focused on snowshoe hare behavior in habitats with varying levels of predation risk. Specifically, I am interested in vegetation differences between survival and mortality micro-habitats as well as predator avoidance and foraging decisions made by hares in heterogeneous landscapes. Continue reading

How do hares respond to potential threat?

- read about Brandon Davis’ undergraduate Honors Research Project

As snowfall is projected to decrease significantly over the next century, the number of days that hares will be mismatched to the environment will increase. Because hares molt to match the environment an increase in mismatched days will likely make them more vulnerable to predation. I will assess if hares realize when they are matched or mismatched to the environment by measuring their behavioral response Continue reading