Graham D. Fairhurst

Graham D. Fairhurst
University of Saskatchewan | U of S · School of Environment and Sustainability

Ph.D.

About

38
Publications
5,913
Reads
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777
Citations
Additional affiliations
March 2016 - March 2017
University of Saskatchewan
Position
  • PostDoc Position
May 2012 - March 2016
University of Saskatchewan
Position
  • PostDoc Position
May 2006 - May 2012
University of Saskatchewan
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
September 2006 - November 2011
University of Saskatchewan
Field of study
  • Biology
May 2000 - April 2004
Boise State University
Field of study
  • Raptor Biology

Publications

Publications (38)
Article
The recently introduced technique of measuring corticosterone in feathers currently provides the longest-term measure of corticosterone in birds. This review examines the strengths, weaknesses, and unresolved technical issues of the feather corticosterone technique. Feather corticosterone's major strengths are that it provides: a retrospective asse...
Article
Full-text available
Despite benefits of using light-sensitive geolocators to track animal movements and describe patterns of migratory connectivity, concerns have been raised about negative effects of these devices, particularly in small species of aerial insectivore. Geolocators may act as handicaps that increase energetic expenditure, which could explain reported ef...
Article
Full-text available
Carotenoids produce many of the red, orange and yellow signal traits of birds, and individuals must trade off utilizing carotenoids for physiological processes versus ornamentation. Proximate mechanisms regulating this trade-off are poorly understood, despite their importance for expression of color signals. Corticosterone (CORT) may play a signifi...
Article
Full-text available
Integrated measures of corticosterone (CORT), such as from feathers (CORTf), have intuitive appeal because they incorporate both the duration and amplitude of glucocorticoid secretion. An association between CORTf and plasma CORT has never been shown in wild birds, and it is unclear as to when and if these measures should be correlated, given that...
Chapter
Vertebrates respond to the perception of potentially noxious stimuli by activating the adrenocortical response to stress, which results in increased levels of circulating glucocorticoid (GC) “stress hormones.” In birds, elevated blood corticosterone (the predominant avian GC) promotes adaptive physiological and behavioral changes aimed at coping wi...
Article
The cover image is based on the Research Article Experimental variation in the spatial deposition of trace metals in feathers revealed using synchrotron X‐ray fluorescence by Fardausi Akhter et al., https://doi.org/10.1002/xrs.3140
Article
Exposure to oil can have long-term impacts on migratory birds. Following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), we investigated potential impacts of oil exposure on a population of northern gannets (Morus bassanus) that breed on Bonaventure Island (Québec, Canada) and winter in GOM and along the U.S. Atlantic coast (AC). Bl...
Article
Full-text available
Feathers can be used to investigate exposure to pollution in birds because they are a secondary route for the excretion of trace elements. Evidence based on analytical imaging and spectroscopy suggests that the spatial distribution of the essential trace element zinc within feathers is related to melanin pigmentation. However, our understanding of...
Article
Natal environment and parental quality can influence offspring phenotype, including physiological and morphological traits. We investigated how offspring morphology and feather corticosterone (CORTf; a physiological index of allostatic load) may be related to nest environment and parental characteristics by cross-fostering 3-day-old nestling Tree S...
Article
Full-text available
While urbanisation exposes individuals to novel challenges, urban areas may also constitute stable environments in which seasonal fluctuations are buffered. Baseline and stress-induced plasma corticosterone levels are often found to be similar in urban and rural populations. Here we aimed to disentangle two possible mechanisms underlying such patte...
Article
Full-text available
1. Allostatic load describes the interplay between energetic demand and availability and is highly context dependent, varying between seasons and life history stages. When energy demands exceed physiological set points modulated by glucocorticoid hormones, individuals may experience allostatic overload and transition between stages in sub-optimal p...
Article
Full-text available
Several studies on birds have proposed that a lack of invertebrate prey in urbanized areas could be the main cause for generally lower levels of breeding success compared to rural habitats. Previous work on house sparrows Passer domesticus found that supplemental feeding in urbanized areas increased breeding success but did not contribute to popula...
Article
Carry-over effects in migratory birds are likely mediated by physiological processes that are activated in response to environmental variation. Such processes affect body condition and/or reproductive success, and can include corticosterone (CORT) because this hormone responds to environmental stressors and influences energy balance. Few studies ha...
Article
Full-text available
In migratory species, breeding and non-breeding locations are geographically separate, yet the effects of conditions from one stage may carry over to affect a subsequent stage. Ideally, to understand the mechanisms and implications of ‘carry-over effects’, one would need to follow individuals throughout the year, quantify potential environmental ca...
Article
Full-text available
Background: An understanding of year-round habitat use is essential for determining how carry-over effects shape population dynamics in long-distance migratory songbirds. The recent discovery of long-term migratory staging sites in many species, prior to arrival at final wintering sites, adds complexity to efforts to decipher non-breeding habitat u...
Article
Full-text available
\textbf{Background:}$ An understanding of year-round habitat use is essential for determining how carry-over effects shape population dynamics in long-distance migratory songbirds. The recent discovery of long-term migratory staging sites in many species, prior to arrival at final wintering sites, adds complexity to efforts to decipher non-breeding...
Article
Malaria parasites can have strong effects on the population dynamics and evolution of migratory bird species. In many species, parasite transmission occurs on the wintering grounds, but studies to determine the consequences of infection have taken place during the breeding season, when malaria parasites circulate at chronic levels. We examined the...
Article
Full-text available
Conditions during development, including nutrition and immune challenges, can have long-lasting effects on subsequent physiological parameters. Many of these organizational effects are mediated by hormones, including corticosterone (CORT), a hormone involved in nutrient mobilization, immune response modulation, and responses to stressors. While the...
Article
Inter- and intra-clutch variation in egg corticosterone (CORT), the major glucocorticoid in birds, may provide insights into how maternal stress levels vary with the timing of breeding and with laying order. Common analytical methods (e.g. immunoassays), however, suffer from cross-reaction with other steroids, leading to potential overestimation of...
Article
Contingent individual performance can depend on the environment experienced at previous life-stages. Migratory birds are especially susceptible to such carry-over effects as they periodically travel between breeding ranges and 'wintering' areas where they may experience broadly different ecological conditions. However, the study of carry-over effec...
Article
Diet during the non-breeding period influences condition and subsequent reproduction. Physiological mechanisms underlying such carry-over effects are poorly understood, but could be clarified by studying physiological responses to variation in diet during non-breeding. The hormone corticosterone provides a functional link between diet and survival...
Article
Full-text available
Corticosterone (CORT) is the dominant plasma glucocorticoid in birds. There has been increasing interest in the function of CORT in avian egg yolk and in the potential to use CORT concentrations in eggs to quantify stress and to assess the effect of maternal stress on offspring. The concentration of CORT in egg yolk is most frequently assessed usin...
Article
Full-text available
Reproductive success often declines with breeding date in diverse taxa, including temperate-nesting bird species. The date hypothesis predicts that seasonally deteriorating environmental quality drives this pattern. While mechanisms are not fully understood, a seasonal increase in parasitism may contribute to the declining quality of nestlings hatc...
Article
Full-text available
In songbirds, the ability to learn and render the species-specific song is influenced by the development of both the song nuclei in the brain and the syrinx (bird's vocal apparatus) early in the bird's life. In black-capped chickadees (Poecille atricapillus), habitat quality is known to affect song structure, with birds in high-quality habitat (mat...
Article
Full-text available
Physiological mechanisms link the environment with population dynamics, and glucocorticoid hormones are of particular interest because they respond adaptively to environmental change and can influence vertebrate reproduction and fitness. We tested a novel approach of synchronizing feather-based measures of corticosterone (the primary avian glucocor...
Article
Full-text available
Although altricial young are dependent on their parents during early life, they must respond to environmental variation to maintain homeostasis. The hormone corticosterone (CORT) may be an important link between environment and phenotype during early life; however, no previous study has experimentally assessed the sensitivity of CORT to nest microc...
Article
Full-text available
Offspring of long-lived species should face costs of parental trade-offs that vary with overall energetic demands encountered by parents during breeding. If sex differences exist in how parents make the trade-off, sex-specific differences may exist in the contribution of each parent to those costs. Adaptations of offspring facing such costs are not...
Article
Full-text available
Enrichment is widely used as tool for managing fearfulness, undesirable behaviors, and stress in captive animals, and for studying exploration and personality. Inconsistencies in previous studies of physiological and behavioral responses to enrichment led us to hypothesize that enrichment and its removal are stressful environmental changes to which...
Article
In the Athabasca oil sands region of northern Alberta, mining companies are evaluating reclamation using constructed wetlands for integration of tailings. From May to July 2008, reproductive performance of 40 breeding pairs of tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor), plus growth and survival of nestlings, was measured on three reclaimed wetlands on two...
Article
Full-text available
We determined the occupancy, productivity, turnover, and dispersal distances of Northern Goshawks (Accipiter gentilis) in two areas of the northern Great Basin in northeastern Nevada and southern Idaho from 1992-2003. Occupancy of nesting territories declined in both study areas over the 10-11 yr study period but the decline was statistically signi...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological factors, such as weather, play important roles in raptor population dynamics. We used logistic and Poisson regression analyses to investigate relationships between late winter, spring, and early summer temperatures and precipitation and Northern Goshawk (Accipter gentilis) breeding, failure, and productivity in northern Nevada from 1992-...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
In countries that do not allow cannon netting, what is the safest and most effective way to trap a Secretarybird (Sagittarius serpentarius)? Any advice would be appreciated!

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