Peter D. Weigl

Research Professor of Biology

Peter Weigl with specimen from Vertebrate Collection

BA, Williams College (1962)
Ph.D., Duke University (1969)

117 Winston Hall
(336) 758-5314

Areas of Interest

Vertebrate Ecology, Behavior, Comparative Physiology, Evolutionary Biology, Ecological Energetics


Dr. Weigl’s interests include the fields of ecology, behavior, comparative physiology and evolutionary biology. Most of Dr. Weigl’s research and that of his students involves wild vertebrates, combines field and laboratory approaches and concentrates on energetic aspects of adaptations to different environments. In the past few years his work has included foraging behavior in squirrels, investigations of endangered species of mammals, locomotion in frogs, thermoregulation in screech owls, parasite-mediated competition in flying squirrels, the coevolutionary relationships of tree squirrels and certain species of conifers and fungi, the biomechanics of the hind limbs and talons of hawks and owls, and the possible role of megaherbivores in maintaining grassland habitats.

Selected Publications

PD Weigl and TW Knowles, 2013. Temperate mountain grasslands: a climate-herbivore hypothesis for origins and persistence. Biological Reviews (2013) p1-11.

KK Thorington and PD Weigl. 2011. Role of kinships in the formation of southern flying squirrel winter aggregations. Journal of Mammalogy 92:179-189.

KK Thorington and PD Weigl, 2011. Persistence of southern flying squirrel winter aggregations: roles of kinship, familiarity, and intruder squirrels. Journal of Mammalogy 92:1005-1012.

PD Weigl. 2009. The natural history conundrum revisited: mammology begins at home. Journal of Mammalogy 90:265-269.

PD Weigl. 2007. The northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus): a conservation challenge. Journal of Mammalogy 88:897-907.

MF Winterrouwd and PD Weigl. 2006. Mechanisms of cache retrieval in group nesting of southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys volans). Journal of Mammalogy 90: 265-269.

BS Arbogast, RA Browne, PD Weigl, and GJ Kenagy. 2005. Conservation genetics of endangered flying squirrels (Glaucomys) from the Appalachian mountains of eastern North America. Animal Conservation 8:1-11.

AB Ward, PD Weigl, and R Conroy. 2002. Functional morphology of raptor hindlimbs: implications for resource partitioning. Auk 119:1052-1063.

BS Arbogast, RA Browne, and PD Weigl. 2001. Evolutionary genetics and Pleistocene geography of North American tree squirrels (Tamiasciurus). Journal of Mammology 82:302-319.

PD Weigl and TW Knowles. 1999. Antiquity of southern Appalachian grass balds: The role of keystone megaherbivores. In: R.P. Eckerlin, ed. Proceedings of the Appalachian Biogeography Symposium. Virginia Museum of Natural History No. 7:215-224.

PD Weigl, TW Knowles, and AC Boynton. 1999. The ecology of the endangered flying squirrel, Glaucomys sabrinus coloratus, in the southern Appalachians. Special Publ. N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. 93 pp.

PD Weigl, LJ Sherman, AI Williams, MA Steele, and DS Weaver. 1998. Geographic variation in the fox squirrel (Sciurus niger): a consideration of size clines, habitat vegetation, food habits and evolutionary history. In: MA Steele, JF Merrit and DA Zegers, eds. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of tree squirrels. Virginia Museum of Natural History. Special Publ. No. 6:171-184.