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A Polar Bear, a Shark and an Oyster Walk into a Meeting…

Comparative physiology researchers meet to discuss animal adaptation and evolution

Rockville, Md. (October 22, 2018)—Leading experts studying animals for insights into human and animal biology will convene this week in New Orleans at the American Physiological Society’s (APS) Comparative Physiology: Complexity and Integration conference. Researchers at this intersociety meeting—co-sponsored by the Society for Experimental Biology and Society for Integrative & Comparative Biologywill discuss how animals of all types are adapting and evolving in the face of changing climates, habitats, food availability, environmental toxins and more.

Comparative and evolutionary physiologists discover how animals work and why animals function the way they do. But to understand this, scientists employ a variety of investigative approaches to help determine the physiological mechanisms driving how animals function.

“Animals respond to a changing environment through short- and longer-term adaptations of a variety of body processes and behaviors,” said meeting organizer Dane Crossley, PhD, of the University of North Texas. “By studying the whys and hows of phenomena, such as gut changes that allow the processing of a new food source or when and why animals hibernate, we can begin to understand how to address human problems and conditions that could benefit from similar strategies.”

Research presented at the meeting will address how animals survive and thrive under various conditions while others struggle at the brink of extinction. Studies will feature animal models that include hummingbirds, abalone, seals, polar bears, ground squirrels, bees, sharks, lizards and more.

Program Highlights
(Sessions are sponsored by APS unless otherwise noted.)

Thursday, October 25
Plenary Lecture—Tesla Valves and Other Fluidic Devices in Reptile Lungs
Speaker: CG Farmer, University of Utah  

Friday, October 26
Connecting Genomes to Phenomes to Populations (Co-sponsored by APS and the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology Division of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry)
Chair: Allyson Hindle, Massachusetts General Hospital

Comparative Insights into Animal Responses to Hypoxia And Anoxia
Chair: Jon Harrison, Arizona State University

MicroRNAS in Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology
Chair: Julie Reynolds, The Ohio State University

The Role of Gasotransmitters in Hypoxic and Challenging Environments
Chair: Michael Tift, University of California, San Diego

The Role of Thermal Performance Curves in Physiology, Ecology and Conservation (Sponsored by the Society of Experimental Biology)
Chair: Johannes Overgaard, Aarhus University

Saturday, October 27
Evolution of Phenotypic Plasticity in Physiological Systems (Sponsored by the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology Division of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry)
Chairs: Graham Scott, McMaster University; Anne Dalziel, Université Laval

Comparative Aspects of Acid-Base Regulation
Chair: Colin Brauner, University of British Columbia

Evolution of Metabolic Proteins
Chairs: Chris Moyes, Queen’s University; Jeffrey Richards, University of British Columbia

Harnessing Naturally Evolved Torpor to Benefit Human Spaceflight (Co-Sponsored by the Society of Experimental Biology)
Chairs: Hannah Carey, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Matthew Regan, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Physiology from the Neotropics: Rhythms, Temperature and Season
Chairs: Kenia Cardoso-Bicego, Sao Paulo State University; Luciane Gargaglioni, Sao Paulo State University

Sunday, October 28
Conducting Mechanistic Investigations in Comparative Physiology Using in Vitro and Ex Vivo Systems
Chair: Jose Vazquez-Medina, University of California, Berkeley

Integrating Phenotypes and Functional Genomics to Understand Mechanisms of Remodeling and Growth
Chairs: Todd Castoe, University of Texas at Arlington; Stephen Secor, University of Alabama

Animal Intestinal Microbiomes: Community Diversity and Services Provided to the Host
Chairs: Beck Wehrle, University of California, Irvine; Brian Trevelline, University of Pittsburgh

Comparative Physiomics: Systems-level Approaches to Comparative Physiology (Sponsored by the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology Division of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry)
Chair: Jane Khudyakov, University of the Pacific

Managing Fuel Metabolism under Limited Oxygen and Energy Supply (Sponsored by the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology Division of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry)
Chair: Jean-Michel Weber, University of Ottawa 

Mechanisms of Change, Physiological Response to Environmental Stressors (Sponsored by the Society of Experimental Biology)
Chairs: Sarah Alderman, University of Guelph; Todd Gillis, University of Guelph 

Plenary Lecture—Ecophysiology: Physiology Can Inform Ecology, and Ecology Can Inform Physiology
Speaker: Raymond Huey, University of Washington, Seattle 

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: The Comparative Physiology: Complexity and Integration conference will be held October 25–28 in New Orleans. To schedule an interview with the conference organizers or presenters, contact the APS Communications Office or 301-634-7314. Find more research highlights in the APS Press Room.

 

Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. Established in 1887, the American Physiological Society (APS) was the first U.S. society in the biomedical sciences field. The Society represents more than 10,000 members and publishes 15 peer-reviewed journals with a worldwide readership.

 


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