Dr Clare Stawski

Postdoctoral Research Fellow - School of Environmental and Rural Science

Clare Stawski

Phone: +61 2 6773 3756

Email: cstawsk2@une.edu.au


Clare is interested in combining the fields of physiology and ecology to answer questions related to how animals cope with the energetic challenges they face regularly in their environment. In particular, how they cope physiologically and behaviourally with detrimental weather and environmental conditions or a shortage in food and water resources. She has studied and worked at universities in Australia, Poland and Austria and is currently researching the behavioural and physiological responses of small mammals to environmental changes, such as habitat degradation and predation pressure.


2013: Perform aseptic surgery course, Box Hill Institute, Melbourne, Australia.

2010: PhD in Physiological Ecology, University of New England.

2005: Honours (first class) in Physiological Ecology, University of Queensland.

2003: Bachelor of Science (Majors: Zoology and Wildlife Biology), University of Queensland.

Professional Experience

2016- : Discovery Early Career Researcher Award fellow, Zoology, University of New England.

2013-2016: DVCR postdoctoral research fellow, Zoology, University of New England.

2012: Postdoctoral internship, Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria.

2011-2012: Postdoctoral research fellow, Institute of Environmental Sciences, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland.

2010: Junior research fellow, Zoology, University of New England.

2009-2010: Lecturer and practical demonstrator for a 1st year biology course (Biology 110) and a 2nd year vertebrate zoology course (Zoology 203), University of New England.

2005: Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

2004-2005: Practical demonstrator for a 1st year ecology and environment course (Biology 1016), University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

Awards and grants

2016-2019: Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

2015: University of New England Early Career Researcher Seed Grant.

2013-2016: Postdoctoral fellowship from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) University of New England.

2012: 14th International Hibernation Symposium travel grant.

2012: Grant for the development of young scientists from Jagiellonian University.

2011-2012: Postdoctoral fellowship from Jagiellonian University and the European Union.

2010: Overall best paper, 14th Australasian Bat Society Conference, Darwin.

2009: Project grant from the New South Wales Government Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water.

2008-2009: Bat Conservation International student research scholarship.

2007-2010: Australian Postgraduate Award.

2007-2010: University of New England research and travel grants.

2003: University of Queensland Dean's Commendation for High Achievement for semesters 1 and 2.

2001-2003: Freeport-McMoran Vaughn Scholarship Program.

Research Interests

  • Physiology
  • Ecology
  • Behaviour
  • Conservation
  • Thermoregulation
  • Energetics

Behavioural and Physiological Ecology


Stawski C, Nowack J, Körtner G, Geiser F (2016) A new cue for torpor induction: charcoal, ash and smoke. Journal of Experimental Biology, in press.

Matthews J, Stawski C, Körtner G, Geiser F (2016) Torpor and basking after a severe wildfire: mammalian survival strategies in a scorched landscape. Journal of Comparative Physiology B, doi:10.1007/s00360-016-1039-4.

Levesque DL, Nowack J, Stawski C (2016) Modelling mammalian energetics: the heterothermy problem. Climate Change Responses, doi:10.1186/s40665-016-0022-3. Invited review.

Stawski C, Rojas AD (2016) Thermal physiology of reproductive female marsupial, Antechinus flavipes. Mammal Research 61:417-421, doi:10.1007/s13364-016-0287-8.

Nowack J, Delesalle M, Stawski C, Geiser F (2016) Can hibernators sense and evade fires? Olfactory acuity and locomotor performance during deep torpor. The Science of Nature 103:73, doi:10.1007/s00114-016-1396-6.

Stawski C, Currie SE (2016) Effect of roost choice on winter torpor patterns of a free-ranging insectivorous bat. Australian Journal of Zoology, doi:10.1071/ZO16030.

Doty A, Stawski C, Currie SE, Geiser F (2016) Physiological implications of roost colour and choice in an Australian microbat. Journal of Thermal Biology 186:937-846, doi:10.1016/j.jtherbio.2016.07.015.

Stawski C, Körtner G, Nowack J, Geiser F (2016) Phenotypic plasticity of post-fire activity and thermal biology of a small mammal. Physiology and Behavior 159:104-111, doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2016.03.009.

Doty A, Stawski C, Law BS, Geiser F (2016) Post-wildfire physiological ecology of an Australian microbat. Journal of Comparative Physiology B, doi:10.1007/s00360-016-1003-3.

Stawski C, Matthews J, Körtner G, Geiser F (2015) Physiological and behavioural responses of a small heterothermic mammal to fire stimuli. Physiology and Behavior 151:617-622, doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.09.002.

Stawski C, Valencak TG, Ruf T, Sadowska ET, Dheyongera G, Rudolf A, Maiti U, Koteja P (2015) Effect of selection for high activity-related metabolism on membrane phospholipid fatty acid composition in bank voles. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 88:668-679, doi:10.1086/683039.

Stawski C, Körtner G, Nowack J, Geiser F (2015) The importance of mammalian torpor for survival in a post-fire landscape. Biology Letters 11:20150134, doi:10.1098/rsbl.2015.0134.

Sadowska ET, Stawski C, Rudolf A, Dheyongera G, Chrząścik KM, Baliga-Klimczyk K, Koteja P (2015) Evolution of basal metabolic rate in bank voles from a multidirectional selection experiment. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 282:20150025, doi:10.1098/rspb.2015.0025.

Stawski C, Koteja P, Sadowska ET, Jefimow M, Wojciechowski MS (2015)Selection for high activity-related aerobic metabolism does not alter the capacity of non-shivering thermogenesis in bank voles. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A 180:51-56, doi:10.1016/j.cbpa.2014.11.003.

Doty A, Stawski C, Nowack J, Bondarenco A, Geiser F (2015) Increased lyrebird presence in a post-fire landscape. Australian Journal of Zoology 63:9-11, doi:10.1071/ZO14053.

Stawski C, Willis CKR, Geiser F (2014) The importance of temporal heterothermy in bats. Journal of Zoology 292:86-100, doi:10.1111/jzo.12105. Invited review.

Stawski C, Geiser F (2012) Will temperature effects or phenotypic plasticity determine the thermal response of a heterothermic tropical bat to climate change? PLoS ONE 7(7):e40278, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040278.

Stawski C (2012) Capture and care of northern long-eared bats (Nyctophilus bifax) and seasonal changes in insect abundance. Australian Mammalogy 34:245-250, doi:10.1071/AM11043.

Stawski C (2012) Comparison of variables of torpor between populations of a hibernating subtropical/tropical bat at different latitudes. Pp 99-108 In: Ruf T, Bieber C, Arnold W, Millesi E (eds). Living in a seasonal world: thermoregulatory and metabolic adaptations. Springer, Heidelberg.

Stawski C, Geiser F (2011) Do season and distribution affect thermal energetics of a hibernating bat endemic to the tropics and subtropics? American Journal of Physiology 301:R542-R542, doi:10.1152/ajpregu.00792.2010.

Geiser F, Stawski C (2011) Hibernation and torpor in tropical and subtropical bats in relation to energetics, extinctions, and the evolution of endothermy. Integrative and Comparative Biology 51:337-348, doi:10.1093/icb/icr042.

Geiser F, Stawski C, Bondarenco A, Pavey CR (2011) Torpor and activity in a free-ranging tropical bat: implications for the distribution and conservation of mammals? Naturwissenschaften 98:447-452, doi:10.1007/s00114-011-0779-y.

Stawski C (2010) Torpor during the reproductive season in a free-ranging subtropical bat, Nyctophilus bifax. Journal of Thermal Biology 35:245-249, doi:10.1016/j.jtherbio.2010.05.009.

Stawski C, Geiser F (2010) Seasonality of torpor patterns and physiological variables of a free-ranging subtropical bat. Journal of Experimental Biology 213:393-399, doi:10.1242/jeb.038224.

Stawski C, Geiser F (2010) Fat and fed: frequent use of summer torpor in a subtropical bat. Naturwissenschaften 97:29-35, doi:10.1007/s00114-009-0606-x.

Stawski C, Turbill C, Geiser F (2009) Hibernation by a free-ranging subtropical bat (Nyctophilus bifax). Journal of Comparative Physiology B 179:433-441, doi:10.1007/s00360-008-0328-y.

Stawski C, Turbill C, Geiser F (2008) Prolonged torpor during winter in a free-ranging bat from subtropical Australia. Pp 353-360 In: Lovegrove BG, McKechnie AE (eds). Hypometabolism in animals: torpor, hibernation and cryobiology. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.

Stawski C, Grigg GC, Booth DT, Beard LA (2006) Temperature and the respiratory properties of whole blood in two reptiles, Pogona barbata and Emydura signata. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A 143:173-183, doi:10.1016/j.cbpa.2005.11.014.

Research Supervision Experience

Cassie Parker (Honours student, University of New England, 2016-2017): Behaviour and physiology of yellow-footed antechinus during the reproductive season.

Taylor Hume (Honours student, University of New England, 2015): The effects of fire on the physiology, ecology and behaviour of small mammals (co-supervised with Prof. Fritz Geiser).

Anna Doty (PhD student, University of New England, 2013- ): The effects of wild and prescribed fires on physiology, ecology and behaviour of microbats (co-supervised with Prof. Fritz Geiser and Dr. Brad Law).