I am a professor in both the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science (BEES) and the Department of Biology. I teach courses in Ecology, Physiological and Biophysical Ecology, Human Physiology, and Biostatistics.
My research combines my love of biology (particularly physiology and ecology), mathematics, and complex systems, and has always been strongly tinged by the appreciation of the complex workings of various physiological systems that I picked up during my days in medicine. Nearly always I am trying to use some quantitative tool to tease out new ideas about how some animal can meet environmental challenges and survive and grow in its environment. Usually, those challenges involve some physiological or even purely physical stressor that the animal must conquer to live and be active in its habitat. I like to work with others, typically collaborate on projects, and rarely publish single-author papers.
Recurrent themes in my research are: 1) physical stressors like heat or dehydration, 2) ectothermic (cold- blooded) animals, 3) goals the animal must meet to live / survive / grow, and 4) mechanistic models of how the stressors constrain the animal’s ecology, and how they can circumvent those constraints. Thus, I have studied: how frogs control body temperature and more importantly water loss in stressful environments; how reptiles (and others) use blood flow to control rates of warming and cooling; how temperatures constrain the ecology of tortoises and sea turtles. Recently, I’ve been working with others to try to understand how body size constrains the metabolism and ecology of animals, because we think currently popular theories miss some important points.
Fun extraneous fact - I have a third-degree black belt in karate.