Alexander R. Gerson, Ph.D.

Integrative Environmental Physiology

Avian Migration Physiology, Avian Heat Tolerance, Animal Energetics


My interests lie in the field of integrative eco-physiology and my research has focused primarily on the environmental physiology of birds.  I seek to understand how birds are able to overcome extreme environmental challenges, such as those encountered during long distance migration or while living in the hottest deserts on Earth. Through investigation at multiple levels of organization, from the cellular level to the community level, my research program aims to better understand the mechanic basis, flexibility, and limitations of the physiological response of animals to extreme environmental conditions.


I have a number of ongoing research projects investigating flight energetics, fuel selection, and stopover ecology of migratory birds, as well as a project investigating heat tolerance of desert birds.  Check out my research page for more information.


Alexander R. Gerson


Department of Biology

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Amherst, MA 01003