Professor and Head of School, Anatomy Physiology and Human Biology, University of Western Australia

My field of research is comparative physiology. My research objective is to identify and explore the physiological mechanisms used by organisms (mainly mammals and birds) to adapt to environmental stressors. My principal area of focus is thermal physiology, particularly the regulation of brain temperature, and the consequences of strategies used by animals to maintain thermal homeostasis.

Because my curiosity is easily aroused in an interesting problem, our lab has collaborations in diverse areas. Recent examples are work in fields as diverse as giraffe hemodynamics, alpaca nutrition, and animal ethics and welfare. But the underlying theme is constant – a desire to understand how animals work (to borrow a term from Knut Schmidt-Nielsen).

Being diverse is hopefully an advantage as ‘integrative physiology’ (the word integrative is surely redundant) comes more into vogue. The generalists will have the big picture overview required to put results into whole-organism or whole-ecosystem paradigms. This lab aims to provide that capacity.

Experience

  • –present
    Professor and Head of School, Anatomy Physiology and Human Biology, University of Western Australia