Department ofBiology


Team Beetle: Summer Research at elevation 10,150 feet

What a summer for Team Beetle and Elizabeth Dahlhoff! Climate change and hungry predators caused the biggest population crash in Sierra Willow beetles that they have seen in more than 30 years. Despite equipment issues of flat tires and no dry ice, the undergraduate research teams from Santa Clara and Sonoma State University did a fantastic job conducting lab and field experiments, studying how variable temperature and low oxygen affect beetle physiology and ecology, giving us critical insights into how animals are adapting (or not) to climate change.

The all-SCU crew at the "upstairs" (high elevation) laboratory, the Crooked Creek field station in the White Mountains of California (elevation 10,150 feet). Left to right: Ihu Erondu, Hollynd Boyden, Rafael Bravo, Dr. D, and technician Alyson Lumley.