Tim J. Karels
My research interests are in understanding the diversity of processes that influence population growth in natural populations. This is a central and long-standing problem in ecology with fundamental importance in understanding population dynamics and the conservation of species. I use ground-dwelling squirrels (ground squirrels and marmots) as a model system for exploring ecological, behavioral, physiological, and evolutionary mechanisms that determine population growth. They are a taxonomically diverse group of rodents with different mating systems, social structure, and population dynamics distributed throughout the northern hemisphere from arid tropics to arctic and alpine environments. Consequently they are an excellent group with which to comparatively and/or experimentally test hypotheses in population regulation and life-history theory.