Cole Morokhovich ’20, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
I interned with the Stoddard Lab conducting research on broad-tailed hummingbirds at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado. My goal was to better understand how the hummingbirds perceive color and how climate change is affecting their pollination behavior. I used a spectrometer to collect data on the colors of flowers the hummingbirds visited. This allowed me to create a color map for how they may view the landscape. I also set up time-lapse cameras at certain flowers to record hummingbird visits. This provided insight into the effect climate change is having on pollination behavior. This experience taught me a lot about color vision in birds, gave me experience working with spectrometers and cameras, and exposed me to the challenges of working in an unpredictable environment. Most importantly, it showed me firsthand the devastating consequences of climate change on mountainous areas. I really enjoyed the work I did, but it left me with many questions. I hope to return next summer to answer some of these questions for my senior thesis.