OSyM Participants

    • Type of Researcher
    Members
    Patsy Dickinson
    Organismal Biologist
    Professor
    Bowdoin College
    Biology Department
    pdickins@bowdoin.edu
    Research Summary

    My research focuses on modulation of pattern generating networks in crustaceans, particularly the cardiac and stomatogastric ganglia of lobsters and stretch feedback in the lobster cardiac neuromuscular system.


    Keywords: neuroscience
    Peter Dunn
    Organismal Biologist
    Professor
    University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    Dept. of Biological Sciences
    pdunn@uwm.edu
    PDunn UWM
    Research Summary

    I study the ecology and evolution of birds. One of my main interests, relative to OSyM, is the influence of climate change on the breeding ecology of birds. I recently co-edited the second edition of "Effects of Climate Change on Birds" (OUP). A major theme of the volume is that we know little about the mechanisms (physiological, behavioral and demographic) that will impact birds in the future as temperatures increase. I am particularly interested in how trophic interactions will affect birds, specifically how changes in insect abundance and phenology will affect the timing of breeding and reproductive success of birds. Predictive models are relatively uncommon in this area, but may be important for understanding responses to climate change.


    Biographical Info

    I grew up in Connecticut where I became interested in birds and nature at a young age. I gained BS and MS degrees in Wildlife Biology, before switching to Zoology for my PhD at the Univ. of Alberta (1989). I did post-doctoral work on birds at the Queen's Univ., Australian National Univ. and Louisiana State Univ before settling at the Univ. of Wisc. Milwaukee in 1996. I have been studying the ecology and evolution of birds, primarily warblers, swallows and grouse ever since.


    Cassandra Extavour
    Organismal Biologist
    Professor
    Harvard University
    Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
    extavour@oeb.harvard.edu
    Twitter
    Research Summary

    The Extavour Lab studies evolution and ecology of development: EvoEcoDevo. They primarly use insects, including Drosophia in their research.


    Biographical Info

    Cassandra Extavour is a native of Toronto, where she attended the University of Toronto Schools and went on to obtain an Honors BSc at the University of Toronto with a specialist in Molecular Genetics and Molecular Biology, a Major in Mathematics and a Minor in Spanish. She obtained her PhD with Antonio Garcia Bellido at the Severo Ochoa Center for Molecular Biologyat the Autonomous University of Madrid. She performed postdoctoral work first with Michalis Averof at the Institute for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology in Crete, Greece, and subsequently with Michael Akam at the University of Cambridge. At Cambridge she received a BBSRC Research Grant and became a Research Associate in the Department of Zoology. In 2007 she established her independent laboratory as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, where she was promoted to associate professor in 2011 and to full professor in 2014.


    Keywords: germ line, reproduction, ovary, Drosophila, arthropod, insect, genetics, evolution, development, evo-devo, evo-eco-devo, embryo, embryogenesis, oogenesis, ovariole, morphogenesis
    Robert Full
    Organismal Biologist
    Professor
    University of California at Berkeley
    Department of Integrative Biology
    rjfull@berkeley.edu
    Research Summary

    Robert Full’s primary interests reside in the area of comparative biomechanics and physiology. His research program quantifies whole animal performance in general and locomotion in particular as it relates to an animal's structure, physiology, and behavior. He uses biomechanical, computer simulation (dynamic musculo-skeletal modeling), physical modeling (robot and artificial muscle construction), isolated muscle, biochemical, whole-animal exercise physiology and field-tracking techniques to seek general design principles for species which have evolved different solutions to the problems of locomotion and activity in general. The study of arthropod, amphibian and reptilian locomotion continues to offer an excellent opportunity for comparison. Animals such as crabs, cockroaches, ants, beetles, scorpions, centipedes, lizards, geckos and salamanders show tremendous variation in body shape, gas transport system, leg number, musculoskeletal arrangement and mode of movement. He uses these "novel" biological designs as natural experiments to probe for basic themes concerning the relationship between morphology, body size, energetics, dynamics, control, stability, maneuverability, maximum speed and endurance. An understanding of the diverse biological solutions to the problems of locomotion contributes to the development of a general theory of energetics, neuro-mechanics and behavior. Full collaborates closely with engineers, mathematicians and computer scientists by providing biological principles to inspire the design of multi-legged robots, artificial limbs and muscles, novel control algorithms, and self-cleaning, dry adhesives.


    Biographical Info

    Robert Full received his doctoral degree from SUNY Buffalo, conducted a post doc at The University of Chicago and is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor of Integrative Biology and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California at Berkeley. Professor Full is the Director of the Poly-PEDAL Laboratory and the Center for interdisciplinary Bio-inspiration in Education and Research (CiBER).


    Keywords: biomechanics, bioinspired design, robotics
    Kara Gadeken
    Ecomechanic
    PhD Candidate
    University of South Alabama
    Dauphin Island Sea Lab
    kgadeken@disl.org
    Research Summary

    Prior to graduate school most of my experience was in marine ecology, but while taking classes I became fascinated with biogeochemistry. Though I still consider myself an ecologist, my interests have broadened to encompass how ecological responses to environmental change modulate energy and resource flows in marine systems.
    My dissertation research is on sediment responses to the diel oxygen cycle. Oxygen availability is a fundamental parameter that governs sediment function by driving the metabolism and behaviors of organisms inhabiting sediments. Though sediment systems have been well studied under steady-state oxygen conditions, both high and low, very little is known about how they respond to fluctuations in oxygen. Yet the diel oxygen cycle, in which oxygen peaks during the day due to photosynthesis then drops at night from respiration, is extremely common in the shallow marine systems that are critical sites of nutrient and organic matter cycling. The diel cycle affects both biogeochemical processes in sediments and the behavior and activity of sediment macrofauna that influence those processes, sometimes quite dramatically. We know that macrofaunal responses to hypoxia vary considerably among taxa, but how those behaviors change with fluctuating oxygen is almost entirely unknown. This is a major hole in our understanding of sediments’ role in coastal marine systems. The goal of my dissertation is to investigate how the diel cycle drives short-term change in behaviors and resulting sediment function, and whether it may influence estimates of diagenesis over the long term.


    Biographical Info

    I graduated with a BS in Biology and a Marine Science minor from William and Mary in 2014, and began a marine science graduate program in 2015. I am now a Ph.D. candidate at the University of South Alabama at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab studying coastal sediment responses to the diel oxygen cycle.


    Cameron Ghalambor
    Organismal Biologist
    Professor
    Colorado State University
    cameron1@colostate.edu
    The Ghalambor Lab
    Twitter
    Research Summary

    I consider myself an integrative evolutionary ecologist. I'm interested in questions at the intersection of evolution, ecology, physiology, and behavior. I'm particularly interested in the ecological and evolutionary consequences of phenotypic plasticity, the role of phenotypic integration in constraining and facilitating adaptive evolution, trade-offs between physiological tolerance and biotic interactions, and the determinants of vulnerability to climate change. My lab works on fish, birds, insects, and amphibians depending on the question.


    Biographical Info

    B.A. University of California, Los Angeles 1991
    PhD University of Montana 1998
    Post-doc University of California, Riverside 1999-2003
    Assistant Professor, Colorado State University 2003-2009
    Associate Professor, Colorado State University, 2009-2015
    Professor, Colorado State University, 2015-present


    Jordan Glass
    Organismal Biologist
    Graduate student
    Arizona State University
    Arizona State University
    jrglass@asu.edu
    Research Summary

    My research interests are in environmental physiology. Specifically, uncovering and understanding the different physiological mechanisms of insects that allow them to live in hostile environments and whether these phylogenetically-constrained adaptations are sufficient for them to persist in a changing world.


    Biographical Info

    Earned an associates degree (science) from Mesa Community College (2014), a bachelors degree (biological sciences: animal behavior and physiology) from Arizona State University (2016), a masters degree (biology) from the University of the Pacific (2018), and is currently working on a PhD (biology) in the lab of Dr. Jon Harrison (insect physiology) at Arizona State University (expected 2023).

    My love of environmental physiology is linked to childhood hikes with his botanist grandpa, attending an Introductory Biology course taught by a passionate, enthusiastic community college professor, and participating in ASU’s Fundamentals of Tropical Biology study abroad program at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Gamboa, Panama as an undergraduate.


    Daniel Grünbaum
    Engineer, Modeler, Organismal Biologist
    Professor
    University of Washington
    School of Oceanography,
    random@uw.edu
    Research Summary

    My interests revolve around understanding quantitative relationships between organismal traits and ecological dynamics at larger spatial, temporal and organizational scales. Many of my projects involve spatial ecology and movement, from the perspectives of trophic interactions, behavior, biomechanics, using a combination of laboratory observations, field instrumentation and analytical and mathematical modeling.


    Keywords: biological oceanography, mathematical ecology, biomechanics, larval biology