Departments: Biology, Neuroscience
Teaching: Investigative Approaches in Biology, Animal Physiology, Foundations of Neuroscience
Research: Neuroscience and Physiology
Degrees: B.A., University of Montana; Ph.D., University of New Mexico School of Medicine
Phone: (814) 332-5376
Office Location: Steffee Hall B.319
Office Hours: TBA
My general research interests are sensory neurophysiology and comparative animal physiology. Specifically, I’m interested in the neural and chemical control of breathing in vertebrates. Amphibians, reptiles, and mammals depress breathing when CO2 is elevated in the nasal cavities. This cessation of breathing is mediated by olfactory receptors that are sensitive to CO2. Many of my students are researching questions related to the function of this depression in breathing and the possible link to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Several students are also performing histological studies to determine the presence of the enzyme, carbonic anhydrase in the nasal cavities of amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. It is thought that this enzyme is required for animals to detect elevated levels of nasal CO2. We are also using mice to investigate treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and Epilepsy.