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Living on the roof of the world: mechanisms underlying hypo tolerance in pikas, Stanford University (2012 - Present)

This research investigates the mechanisms underlying species tolerance of extreme environments, focusing on pika (genus Ochotona). There are 30 pika species, each occupying a unique elevational range between 0 - 6400 m with the highest concentration of species diversity in the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau region. Limited oxygen at high elevation critically stresses aerobic metabolism; however, little is known about how pikas are capable of tolerating the extreme hypoxia of their high-elevation habitat. Additionally, climate change is causing many pika populations to shift their ranges even higher in elevation.

Location

Nepal

Collaborators

  • Uma Ramakrishnan, Visiting Associate Professor, Biology, National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India

Principal Investigator:

Elizabeth Hadly

Current Research Interests: 
ELIZABETH A. HADLY
PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY AND DEPARTMENT OF GEOLOGICAL SCIENCES, BY COURTESY

Professor Hadly uses a combined field and laboratory approach to examine how ecological perturbations link or decouple levels of biological organization, because understanding the links among ecosystems, species, populations and genes is central to understanding how organisms exist, evolve and become extinct. She addresses problems in organismal biology from both evolutionary and ecological perspectives, primarily using extant mammals. One of the unique aspects of her overall...
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