Tobias Nguyen ’24
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Climate Change and Hummingbird Sensory Ecology in the Rocky Mountains
I helped collect data for a long-term study on the phenology of broad-tailed hummingbirds and the wildflowers they pollinate. The aim of this project is to observe the shifting visitation rates for various flower species as climate change progresses. To that end, our team placed camera traps on wildflowers of interest to record feeding events; this data will be processed throughout the coming year. We also collected flower specimens to create a database of their anatomy and exact color values using a spectrophotometer. Lastly, we conducted weekly wildflower surveys using transects to determine the changing abundance of each species of interest. This was my first look into real-world research and fieldwork. I gained experience not only with the equipment and methods used by the lab group but also with the nature of research and professional collaboration. I worked as part of a team that, for the first time in this study, fully undertook the tasks of spectrophotometry and transect data collection. In all, this was an exciting look into the world of fieldwork and ecological research, and I am left feeling more confident about what a future in ecology may look like.
* This internship is connected to the HMEI Climate and Energy Grand Challenges project, “Investigating the Effects of Climate Change on Hummingbird Sensory Landscapes.”
Biodiversity and Conservation
Stoddard Lab, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University - Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory
Mary Caswell Stoddard, Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology