Christopher Richardson

Christopher RichardsonLecturer
Physiological Ecology, Evolutionary Physiology

Department of Biology
Northeastern University
134 Mugar Life Sciences
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115 USA

Academic Education

  • Ph.D., Biology, Boston University
  • M.S., Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • B.S., Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison


  • Lecturer, Biology Department, Northeastern University, Boston, MA (2009-present)
  • Visiting Researcher, Biology Department, Boston University (2010-present)
  • Adjunct Professor, Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA (2009-present)
  • Adjunct Professor, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Division, Roxbury Community College, Boston, MA (2009)
  • Senior Lecturer, Center for English Language and Orientation Programs, Boston University (2007-2009)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Biology Department, Boston University (2006-2009)
  • Professional Tutor, Roxbury Community College, Boston, MA (2002-2006)
  • Teaching Fellow, Biology Department, Boston University (1994-1998)
  • Teaching Assistant, Department of Zoology, U.W.-Madison (1991-1993)
  • Research Intern, Wildlife Ecology Laboratory in the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, U.W.-Madison (1986-1990)

Other Professional Activities

Invited Lectures:

  • 2006 Biology of Mammals (metabolism and respirometry), Boston University
  • 1999 Ecology (temperature relations), Boston University

Reviewer For:

  • The American Naturalist, Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, Journal of Mammalogy

Research Interests

My research interests are the physiological ecology and evolutionary physiology of small mammals. In particular, I am interested in studying the proximate (i.e., non-evolutionary) and evolutionary factors that shape intraspecific variation of energy use in small mammals. I am interested in how energy use such as metabolic rate has evolved, including the evolution of the tradeoffs between energy use for immune function, thermoregulation and reproduction. I have examined the role of hormones such as thyroid, leptin and cortisol on energy use. Additionally, while most of my research has focused on addressing proximate factors or underlying mechanisms that influence physiological traits in small mammals, some of my research has entailed examining patterns of intraspecific variation as part of understanding whether and how evolution for physiological traits may have occurred. More recently, I have been investigating the relationship between immune function and energy use and the effect of stress on both.

Teaching Activities

I have been involved in teaching at Roxbury Community College, Boston University, Lesley University and Northeastern University. These teaching activities include lecture courses and laboratory courses in the areas of Biology I and II, Genetics, Environmental Ecology, Systems Physiology, Environmental Studies, Evolution, Anatomy and Physiology. Additionally, I tutored statistics and chemistry. I currently teach a Biology research course (BIOL 4991) at Northeastern University. Students would design and carry out independent research. The course has an interdisciplinary approach to research by focusing on questions involving genetics, ecology, evolution and physiology, which include using an integrated approach to studying immunological, hormonal and physiological variables in small mammals.


  • Allen, L.C., C.S. Richardson, G.F. McCracken, and T.H. Kunz. 2009. Birth size and postnatal growth in cave- and bridge-roosting Brazilian free-tailed bats. Journal of Zoology 280:8-16.
  • Richardson, C.S., T. Heeren, E.P. Widmaier, and T.H. Kunz. 2009. Macro- and microgeographic variation in metabolism and hormone correlates in big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus). Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 82:798-811.
  • Kronfeld-Schor, N., C.S. Richardson, B.A. Silva, T.H. Kunz, and E.P. Widmaier. 2000. Dissociation of leptin secretion and adiposity during prehibernatory fattening in little brown bats. American Journal of Physiology (Regulatory Integrative Comparative Physiology) 279:R1277-R1281.
  • Richardson, C. S., M. R. Dohm, and T. Garland, Jr. 1994. Metabolism and thermoregulation in crosses between wild and random-bred laboratory house mice (Mus domesticus). Physiological Zoology 67:944-975.