Julia Nowack

Julia Nowack
Liverpool John Moores University | LJMU · School of Biological and Environmental Sciences

PhD

About

64
Publications
8,757
Reads
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875
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2018 - present
Liverpool John Moores University
Position
  • Lecturer
September 2016 - July 2018
University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna
Position
  • Fellow
February 2016 - July 2016
Western Sydney University
Position
  • Endeavour Research Fellow

Publications

Publications (64)
Article
Full-text available
Rapid environmental changes are challenging for endothermic species because they have direct and immediate impacts on their physiology by affecting microclimate and fundamental resource availability. Physiological flexibility can compensate for certain ecological perturbations, but our basic understanding of how species function in a given habitat...
Article
Full-text available
Maintaining a high and stable body temperature as observed in endothermic mammals and birds is energetically costly. Thus, it is not surprising that we discover more and more heterothermic species that can reduce their energetic needs during energetic bottlenecks through the use of torpor. However, not all heterothermic animals use torpor on a regu...
Article
Full-text available
The whole‐body (tachymetabolic) endothermy seen in modern birds and mammals is long held to have evolved independently in each group, a reasonable assumption when it was believed that its earliest appearances in birds and mammals arose many millions of years apart. That assumption is consistent with current acceptance that the non‐shivering thermog...
Article
Full-text available
There is increasing recognition that rather than being fully homeothermic, most endotherms display some degree of flexibility in body temperature. However, the degree to which this occurs varies widely from the relatively strict homeothermy in species, such as humans to the dramatic seasonal hibernation seen in Holarctic ground squirrels, to many p...
Article
Full-text available
Life history theory predicts a trade‐off between growth rates and lifespan, which is reflected by telomere length, a biomarker of somatic state. We investigated the correlation between telomere length and early life growth of wild boar piglets, Sus scrofa, kept under semi‐natural conditions with high food availability to examine our hypothesis that...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The potent sedative medetomidine is a commonly used adjunct for the immobilisation of non-domestic mammals. However, its use is associated with pronounced cardiovascular side effects, such as bradycardia, vasoconstriction and decreased cardiac output. We investigated the effects of the peripherally-acting alpha-2-adrenoceptor antagonis...
Article
Open-flow respirometry is a common method to measure oxygen-uptake as a proxy of energy expenditure of organisms in real-time. Although most often used in the laboratory it has seen increasing application under field conditions. Air is drawn or pushed through a metabolic chamber or the nest with the animal, and the O2 depletion and/or CO2 accumulat...
Article
Full-text available
Hibernation and daily torpor (heterothermy) allow endotherms to cope with demanding environmental conditions. The depth and duration of torpor bouts vary considerably between tropical and temperate climates, and tropical hibernators manage to cope with a wider spectrum of ambient temperature (Ta) regimes during heterothermy. As cycles in Ta can hav...
Article
Full-text available
Mammalian heterotherms, species that employ short or long periods of torpor, are found in many different climatic regions. Although the underlying physiological mechanisms of heterothermy in species from lower latitudes (i.e., the tropics and southern hemisphere) appear analogous to those of temperate and arctic heterotherms, the ultimate triggers...
Article
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We experimentally tested the costs of deep torpor at low temperatures by comparing telomere dynamics in two species of rodents hibernating at either 3 or 14°C. Our data show that hibernators kept at the warmer temperature had higher arousal frequencies, but maintained longer telomeres than individuals hibernating at the colder temperature. We sugge...
Article
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Macrophysiological analyses are useful to predict current and future range limits and improve our understanding of endotherm macroecology, but such analyses too often rely on oversimplifications of endothermic thermoregulatory and energetic physiology, which lessens their applicability. We detail some of the major issues with macrophysiological ana...
Article
Full-text available
Transfer of milk is the fundamental common characteristic of mammalian reproduction, but species differ considerably with respect to nursing strategies. The consequences of teat orders and allonursing have been studied intensively in domestic pigs. However, whether similar nursing strategies also exist in wild boar, the ancestor of domestic pigs is...
Article
Full-text available
Muscle nonshivering thermogenesis (NST) was recently suggested to play an important role in thermoregulation of species lacking brown adipose tissue (BAT). The mechanism, which is independent of muscle contractions, produces heat based on the activity of an ATPase pump in the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SERCA1a) and is controlled by the protein sarcoli...
Article
Urbanisation is an important factor driving species and biodiversity decline. Although habitat alterations can be detrimental for species, studies have shown that many diurnal primates are able to adapt to novel environments. Little is known about the ability of nocturnal primates to survive within an urban environment. To increase our understandin...
Article
Faecal hormone monitoring offers a robust tool to non-invasively determine the physiological stress experienced by an individual when faced with natural or human-driven stressors. Although already quantified for several species, the method needs to be validated for each new species to ensure reliable quantification of the respective glucocorticoids...
Article
Full-text available
Although wildfires are increasing globally, available information on how mammals respond behaviourally and physiologically to fires is scant. Despite a large number of ecological studies, often examining animal diversity and abundance before and after fires, the reasons as to why some species perform better than others remain obscure. We examine ho...
Conference Paper
Biologging has become a major part in ecological and ecophysiological research and huge progress has been made with respect to size and accuracy of logging devices. However, when working with larger animals, things become complicated quite fast with questions arising like where to implant the logger, especially when core body temperature has to be...
Conference Paper
Biologging has become a major part in ecological and ecophysiological research and huge progress has been made with respect to size and accuracy of logging devices. However, when working with larger animals, things become complicated quite fast with questions arising like where to implant the logger, especially when core body temperature has to be...
Preprint
While small mammals and neonates are able to maintain an optimal body temperature (Tb) independent of ambient conditions by producing heat via nonshivering thermogenesis (NST) in the brown adipose tissue (BAT), larger mammals and other mammals lacking BAT were long believed to rely primarily on shivering and behavioural adaptations. However, recent...
Article
Full-text available
The development of sustained, long-term endothermy was one of the major transitions in the evolution of vertebrates. Thermogenesis in endotherms does not only occur via shivering or activity, but also via non-shivering thermogenesis (NST). Mammalian NST is mediated by the uncoupling protein 1 in the brown adipose tissue (BAT) and possibly involves...
Article
The recent observation that torpor plays a key role in post-fire survival has been mainly attributed to the reduced food resources after fires. However, some of these adjustments can be facilitated or amplified by environmental changes associated with fires, such as the presence of a charcoal-ash substrate. In a previous experiment on a small terre...
Article
In seasonal breeders, periods of reproductive activity often coincide with high levels of glucocorticoids. We studied seven male and seven female African lesser bushbabies (Galago moholi A. Smith, 1836) over two mating periods via noninvasive faecal hormone metabolite monitoring to investigate the relationship between reproductive and adrenocortica...
Article
Full-text available
Increased winter survival by reducing energy expenditure in adult animals is often viewed as the primary function of torpor. However, torpor has many other functions that ultimately increase the survival of heterothermic mammals and birds. In this review, we summarize new findings revealing that animals use torpor to cope with the conditions during...
Article
To copewith the post-fire challenges of decreased availability of food and shelter, brown antechinus (Antechinus stuartii), a small marsupial mammal, increase the use of energy-conserving torpor and reduce activity. However, it is not known howlong it takes for animals to resume pre-fire torpor and activity patterns during the recovery of burnt hab...
Article
![Graphic][1] Rising surface temperatures are threatening biodiversity worldwide, and the impacts of climate change on organisms are hard to predict. Ectothermic species, such as lizards, rely to a large degree on environmental temperatures to maintain their body temperatures and might
Article
Full-text available
Recent work has shown that the use of torpor for energy conservation increases after forest fires in heterothermic mammals, probably in response to the reduction of food. However, the specific environmental cues for this increased torpor expression remain unknown. It is possible that smoke and the novel substrate of charcoal and ash act as signals...
Article
Full-text available
Global climate change is expected to have strong effects on the world’s flora and fauna. As a result, there has been a recent increase in the number of meta-analyses and mechanistic models that attempt to predict potential responses of mammals to changing climates. Many models that seek to explain the effects of environmental temperatures on mammal...
Article
Periods of reproduction are linked to changes in male behaviour, physiology and physical parameters. Although high androgen concentrations hold numerous advantages, especially during reproductive periods, chronically elevated androgen concentrations over long periods may be costly and thus need to be regulated. As such seasonal breeders will displa...
Article
Full-text available
Increased habitat fragmentation, global warming and other human activities have caused a rise in the frequency of wildfires worldwide. To reduce the risks of uncontrollable fires, prescribed burns are generally conducted during the colder months of the year, a time when in many mammals torpor is expressed regularly. Torpor is crucial for energy con...
Article
Full-text available
Fires have occurred throughout history, including those associated with the meteoroid impact at the Cretaceous–Palaeogene (K–Pg) boundary that eliminated many vertebrate species. To evaluate the recent hypothesis that the survival of the K–Pg fires by ancestral mammals was dependent on their ability to use energy-conserving torpor, we studied body...
Article
Ecosystems can change rapidly and sometimes irreversibly due to a number of anthropogenic and natural factors, such as deforestation and fire. How individual animals exposed to such changes respond behaviourally and physiologically is poorly understood. We quantified the phenotypic plasticity of activity patterns and torpor use - a highly efficient...
Article
Full-text available
Steroid hormones play an important role in female reproductive physiology and behaviour and are often used to monitor important female reproductive events. However, such studies are often attempted on captive populations alone, delivering limited data. One such example is the African lesser bushbaby, Galago moholi, for which contradicting observati...
Article
Full-text available
Huddling and torpor are widely used for minimizing heat loss by mammals. Despite the questionable energetic benefits from social heterothermy of mixed groups of warm normothermic and cold torpid individuals, the heterothermic Australian marsupial sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps) rests in such groups during the cold season. To unravel why they migh...
Article
Urbanisation has become a severe threat to pristine natural areas, causing habitat loss and affecting indigenous animals. Species occurring within an urban fragmented landscape must cope with changes in vegetation type as well as high degrees of anthropogenic disturbance, both of which are possible key mechanisms contributing to behavioural changes...
Article
Full-text available
Although storms provide an extreme environmental challenge to organisms and are predicted to increase in frequency and intensity due to climate change, there are no quantitative observations on the behaviour and physiology of animals during natural disasters. We provide the first data on activity and thermal biology of a free-ranging, arboreal mamm...
Article
Full-text available
Wildfires have increased in frequency and intensity worldwide with climate change as a main driving factor. While a number of studies have focused on population changes in regard to fires, there are essentially no quantitative data on behavioural and physiological adjustments that are vital for the persistence of individuals during and after fires....
Article
Increasing evidence shows that torpor in mammals is not only an effective adaptation for surviving predictable seasonal harsh conditions but is also employed as a response to acute emergency situations. This finding leads to the hypothesis that the ability to become heterothermic can also facilitate the colonization of new habitats, when mammals ha...
Article
Full-text available
Prescribed fires for fuel reduction affect wildlife in a number of ways. We observed a marked increase in superb lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae) numbers after a controlled burn in Guy Fawkes River National Park, NSW in April and May 2014. The fire occurred during the winter breeding season, however congregations of males were often seen together...
Article
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The reddish-gray mouse lemur (Microcebus griseorufus) is one of only a few small mammals inhabiting the spiny forest of southwestern Madagascar. In this study we investigated the physiological adjustments which allow these small primates to persist under the challenging climatic conditions of their habitat. To this end we measured energy expenditur...
Article
The African lesser bushbaby, Galago moholi, is described as a food specialist, feeding exclusively on small arthropods and gum primarily from Acacia karroo trees. We studied a population of G. moholi in a highly fragmented habitat in the southernmost part of its natural distributional range in South Africa. In this habitat, we opportunistically obs...
Article
Full-text available
The capacity for nonshivering thermogenesis (NST) plays an important role during arousal from torpid states. Recent data on heterotherms inhabiting warmer regions, however, suggest that passive rewarming reduces the need of metabolic heat production during arousal significantly, leading to the question: to what extent do subtropical or tropical het...
Article
Full-text available
The expression of heterothermy in the African lesser bushbaby, Galago moholi, seems to be strikingly different to most other heterotherms: G. moholi uses its ability to enter torpor only rarely and torpor is only used by a small fraction of the population. The aim of this study was, therefore, to summarize the parameters of torpor use in G. moholi...
Chapter
Full-text available
The three closely related primate species Cheirogaleus medius , Microcebus griseorufus , and Galago moholi employ a spectrum of thermoregulatory responses to environmental bottlenecks. C. medius is an obligate hibernator, M. griseorufus shows extreme flexibility in patterns of heterothermy, ranging from daily torpor to prolonged torpor and hibernat...
Article
Full-text available
Behavioral and physiological adaptations are common and successful strategies used by small endothermic species to adjust to unfavorable seasons. Physiological adaptations, such as heterothermy, e.g., torpor, are usually thought to be more effective energy-saving strategies than behavioral adjustments. The African lesser bushbaby, Galago moholi, is...
Article
Full-text available
Hibernation and daily torpor are energy- and water-saving adaptations employed to survive unfavourable periods mostly in temperate and arctic environments, but also in tropical and arid climates. Heterothermy has been found in a number of mammalian orders, but within the primates so far it seems to be restricted to one family of Malagasy lemurs. As...

Projects

Project (1)
Archived project
It is predicted that changes in global weather patterns will increase the frequency and severity of fires and this is especially the case for Australia. However, essentially nothing is known about how small mammals respond behaviourally and physiologically to fires, although this is crucial to their survival. Therefore, the aim of this project is to identify behavioural and functional responses of mammals to fire.