Oswald, Stephen

head shot of Stephen
Instructor in Biology, Biology Department
Office Phone
Office Location
Luerssen, 232

My research addresses the direct thermal implications of historical climate and contemporary climatic change on endothermic organisms. I quantify the morphological, physiological and behavioral constraints upon thermoregulation for seabirds and waterbirds and how these influence breeding distributions, population processes, physiology and behavior.

My current projects and collaborations include:

Thermal ecology of seabirds and waterbirds in a changing world: comparative ecophysiology through fieldwork, measurement of preserved specimens and ecological modeling.
Interplay between climate and physiology: the strength of evolutionary selection pressures on morphology and physiology of extant seabirds, both currently and in historical time.
The ecology and conservation of declining, inland-breeding waterbird populations.
Development of novel field instrumentation and analytical methods for studying colonial birds.

I am interested in collaborations with students in any of these areas (please e-mail me).

Courses I have taught at Penn State include:

Introductory Biology (BIOL 110, BIOL 110, BIOL 012)
Biology: Function and Development of Organisms (BIOL 240W)
Biology: Populations and Communities (BIOL 220W)
Genetics, Ecology and Evolution (BI SCI 002, BI SCI 002H)
Freshman Seminar (PSU 005)

Dr. Oswald's Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Oswald's Publications


Oswald, S.A., Nisbet, I.C.T., Chiaradia, A. and Arnold, J.M. 2012. FlexParamCurve: Flexible R package to fit non-linear parametric curves. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, Early View DOI: 10.1111/j.2041-210X.2012.00231.x.

Oswald, S.A. and Arnold J.M. 2012. Direct impacts of climatic warming on heat stress in endothermic species: seabirds as bioindicators of changing thermoregulatory constraints. Integrative Zoology, 7: 121-136.

Oswald, S.A., Huntley, B., Russell, D. J., Anderson, B., Arnold, J.M., Furness, R. W. and Hamer, K. C. (2011) Physiological effects of climate on distributions of endothermic species. Journal of Biogeography, 38: 430-438.


PhD., Ecology of Climate Change, Leeds University, UK

M.S., Ecology, Aberdeen University, UK

B.S., Biology, Durham University, UK