Wildlife Physiological Ecology

With this course students will: learn to incorporate physiology into wildlife biology and management; understand ways in which animal physiology is influenced by ecology and the environment (general facts, concepts and themes); and be able to interpret, synthesize and communicate the science of physiology to wildlife managers, scientists and the public. 


This course is directed primarily at pre-medical, pre-health, and pre-graduate seniors. As such, the content is focused on integrating fundamental concepts (such as hormone release, hormone transport and receptor activation) into complex systems (such as reproduction), enabling students to move their way through more complex concepts (such as the pathophysiology of sex determination) with confidence. One of my primary goals in teaching is promoting critical thinking skills; toward this end I incorporate discussion of recent scientific work into the regular class lectures, and require active participation and discussion from all the students.

Organismal Function

Explore Mechanisms

To gain a deeper understanding of physiology that is relevant to any biologist, we will explore the physical and chemical mechanisms that underlie the relationship between form and function.  We shall take an integrative view, beginning with the basics of cell function and moving up through levels of organization to topics such as locomotion in different environments and metabolism as a function of habitat and climate.

Understand Complex Ideas and Hypotheses

Our approach is twofold:  1) We shall compare and contrast classic themes in physiology with novel and interesting new insight that has emerged from modern research and, (2) we shall examine the ways that modern insight in physiology can be extended in a comparative, ecological and evolutionary context.  We will read, analyze and discuss classic and modern papers.