Environmental physiology, diving mammals, hypoxia, hibernation, metabolic depression, physiological telemetry, comparative genomics
My research expertise focuses on two systems that challenge conventional definitions of mammalian homeostasis. Breath-hold divers such as seals are exceptionally tolerant to hypoxia, and execute coordinated cardiovascular adjustments during diving in order to conserve on-board oxygen for critical tissues. Small-bodied hibernators cycle between bouts of cold torpor lasting several weeks and rapid rewarming arousal periods of less than a day. They must therefore orchestrate rapidly reversible metabolic depression, and undergo dramatic changes in body temperature, oxygen consumption and tissue perfusion without harm. I work to elucidate molecular mechanisms that underlie physiological specializations by combining whole-animal telemetry measurements in the field with cell culture systems in the lab. I also use comparative genomics approaches to identify themes and gene targets across lineages.
SEB Program Group: Integrative Physiology
SEB Lab Location: 4119