Conservation physiology: predicting responses to change

28 June 2012

With many species under threat and populations in decline, understanding and forecasting how organisms respond to human-induced environmental change is becoming increasing important.

Special edition front cover
Special edition front cover

A special issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B highlights the importance and relevance of physiological research for conservation. Associate Professor Frank Seebacher, with a colleague from the University of Queensland, compiled and edited this special edition. Conservation Physiology integrates the fields of ecology, evolution and physiology within a conservation biology framework. This field aims to evaluate the effects of changing environmental conditions on organisms that are a result of anthropogenic activities, both present and future. Importantly, through the application of physiological tools and approaches, a mechanistic and functional understanding of the impacts of environmental change on species can be achieved.

The School of Biological Sciences' Professor Stephen Simpson is also a co-author on a review article in this issue. Royal Society Publishing says, 'The papers in this special edition provide a comprehensive synthesis of Conservation Physiology and identify how the principles of this emerging field could and should be incorporated into practical conservation.'