Helpful Pictures

Bird Chamber

Here is an illustration of the simplified respirometry setup (as created by me): The concept is easy enough, but the setup actually looks more like this contraption (borrowed from an insect researcher at the University of Florida): All the tubes can get pretty messy!  The two machines on the left are the oxygen and carbon […]


The desired results compare zebra finch metabolism with blood mercury levels.  To create this comparison, we calculated metabolism using the following equation: ((Flow Rate*Oxygen Consumption)/(1-Excurrent Oxygen))/Bird Mass.  We derived this equation from “Measuring Metabolic Rates” by John Lighton, more affectionately known as The Bible of Respirometry.  To determine blood mercury levels, we collected blood samples […]

Effect of Mercury on Zebra Finch Metabolism

As the title suggests, my modified Monroe project now focuses solely on zebra finch metabolism.  The nestling mortality project is a thing of the past, and I have now become fluent in the language of respirometry.  Since very few professors at William and Mary understand the respirometry system that we utilized, the most challenging part […]