Chris Richardson received his BS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his Ph.D. from Boston University. His research interests are the physiological ecology and evolutionary physiology of small mammals. At Lesley, he teaches the following courses: Evolution and History of Life, Genetics and Ethics, Biology 2 with laboratory, Infectious Diseases, Applied Ecology, Research Experiences in the Natural Sciences Undergraduate Course, Anatomy and Physiology 1
Chris has investigated the role of intraspecific variation in hormones such as thyroid, leptin, and cortisol on intraspecific (evolutionary vs. non-evolutionary based) variation in a temperate bat species. His research has focused on addressing proximate (i.e., non-evolutionary) factors or underlying mechanisms that influence physiological traits in small mammals. He's interested in how energy use, such as metabolic rate, affects immune function, thermoregulation, and reproduction.
In the last five years, he has become interested in the energetic cost of immune function and the relationship between immune function and metabolism. Currently, he's investigating how the energetic cost of immune function in Myotis lucifugus (little brown myotis) and Eptesicus fuscus (big brown bats) affects the immune response and recovery to White Nose Syndrome (a fungal disease which has killed millions of bats in North America) in those two bat species and its impact on reproduction. This study has involved Lesley students as well as other students in the Boston area.
Additionally, he's now leading research at Mount Auburn Cemetery on the diversity and activity of bat species as part of a broader study on biodiversity involving several Lesley faculty researchers and Lesley students.