Danielle L. Levesque

Danielle LevesqueAssociate Professor of Mammalogy and Mammalian Health

Degree: Ph.D. 2014 University of Kwazulu-Natal
Phone: 207.581.2511
Email: danielle.l.levesque@maine.edu
321A Murray Hall



Research Topic:
Evolutionary physiology, thermoregulatory biology, physiological ecology, hibernation/torpor, mammals

Research Program:
My primary areas of research are evolutionary physiology and the comparative energetics of mammalian temperature regulation. My research lies at the intersections of physiology, ecology and evolutionary biology, and the synergies between these disciplines. Specifically, I am interested in the flexibility of metabolic rate and body temperature regulation, either via torpor (a controlled decrease in both) or by the amplitude of circadian body temperature variations. Traditionally, the study of thermoregulation has been the purview of mechanistic physiologists in the laboratory. However, the advent of new technologies has allowed the collection of data from free-ranging animals, which in turn allows physiology to be placed in wider ecological and evolutionary context. Through field and laboratory based experiments, I seek to understand how rigidity or flexibility in metabolism and body temperature regulation affects the energetics of a species and how their evolutionary history has shaped these patterns.


Levesque, D.L., A.A. Tuen, B.G. Lovegrove. 2018. Staying hot to fight the heat- high body temperatures accompany a diurnal endothermic lifestyle in the tropics. Journal of Comparative Physiology B DOI : 10.1007/s00360-018-1160-7

Levesque, D.L., A. Menzies, G. Larocque, M. Landry-Cuerrier, M.M. Humphries. 2017. Embracing heterothermic diversity: non-stationary waveform analysis of temperature variation in endotherms. Journal of Comparative Physiology B 187:749-757 DOI:10.1007/s00360-017-1074-9

Levesque, D.L., J. Nowack and C. Stawski. 2016. Modelling mammalian energetics: the heterothermy problem. Climate Change Responses. 3:7 DOI: 10.1186/s40665-016-0022-3

Sinclair, B, K. Marshall, M. Sewell, D.L. Levesque, C.Willett, S. Slotsbo, Y. Dong, C. Harley, D. Marshall, B. Helmuth, R. Huey. 2016. Can we predict ectotherm responses to climate change using thermal performance curves and body temperatures? Ecology Letters 19:1372-1385. DOI:10.1111/ele.12686

Lovegrove, B. G., K.D. Lobban, and D.L. Levesque. 2014. Mammal survival at the Cretaceous–Palaeogene boundary: metabolic homeostasis in prolonged tropical hibernation in tenrecs. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 281: 20141304. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1304

Levesque, D.L., K.D. Lobban and B.G. Lovegrove. 2014. Effects of reproductive status and high ambient temperatures on the body temperature of a free-ranging basoendotherm. Journal of Comparative Physiology B 184: 1041-1053. DOI: 10.1007/s00360-014-0858-4

Levesque, D.L., and B.G. Lovegrove. 2014. Increased homeothermy during reproduction in a basal placental mammal. Journal of Experimental Biology 217: 1535-1542. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.098848

Lovegrove B.G., C.I. Canale, D.L. Levesque, G. Fluch, M. Řeháková-Petrů and T. Ruf. 2014. Are tropical mammals physiologically vulnerable to Arrhenius effects and climate change? Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 87: 30-45. DOI: 10.1086/673313

Levesque, D. L., O. M. A. Lovasoa, S. N. Rakotoharimalala and B. G. Lovegrove 2013. High mortality and annual fecundity in a free-ranging basal placental mammal, Setifer setosus (Tenrecidae: Afrosoricida). Journal of Zoology 291: 205-212. DOI:10.1111/jzo.12063

Canale, C.I., D.L Levesque (joint first author), and B.G. Lovegrove. 2012. Tropical heterothermy — does the exception prove the rule or force a re-definition? In: Ruf T, Bieber C, Arnold W, Millesi E (eds) Living in A Seasonal World: Thermoregulatory and Metabolic Adaptations. Springer. pp 29-40. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-28678-0_3

Levesque, D.L., D. Rakotondravony, D. and B.G. Lovegrove. 2012. Home range and shelter site selection in the greater hedgehog tenrec in the dry deciduous forest of Western Madagascar. Journal of Zoology 287: 161-168. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.2012.00899.x

Mares, R., A.J. Young, D.L. Levesque, N. Harrison and T.H. Clutton-Brock. 2011. Responses to intruder scents in the cooperatively breeding meerkat: sex and social status differences and temporal variation. Behavioral Ecology 22: 594-600 DOI: 10.1093/beheco/arr021

Levesque, D.L. and G.J. Tattersall. 2010. Seasonal torpor and normothermic energy metabolism in the Eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus). Journal of Comparative Physiology B 180: 279-292. DOI: 10.1007/s00360-009-0405-x

Levesque, D.L. and G.J. Tattersall. 2009. Seasonal changes in thermoregulatory responses to hypoxia in normothermic Eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus). Journal of Experimental Biology 212: 1801-1810. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.027094