The Arizona Physiological Society held their 8th annual conference Nov 13-14 at Midwestern University in Glendale. This was a great meeting for comparative physiologists!
Here are some comparative physiology highlights from the meeting:
The 2015 Keynote Speaker was Dr. Andrew Biewener (Harvard University) who spoke about “How do running animals acheive stability? The neuromechanical control of rapid locomotion.” In his talk he focused on understanding how Guinea fowl avoid tripping when running really fast over uneven surfaces.
The 2015 Arizona Distinguished Lecture was given by Dr. Eldon Braun (University of Arizona), “The comparative physiology of osmoregulation: Lessons from avian studies.” In his talk he focused on how birds regulate water balance differently from other vertebrates.
Christine Hernandez, a graduate student from Midwestern University presented research examining how the ultrasonic vocalizations of male mice change with experiences.
James Sargent, undergraduate student from Arizona State University presented his work on understanding how the ability of fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) to tolerate anoxia (lack of oxygen) decreases as the animals age. According to his abstract, young drosophila can actually tolerate anoxic conditions for many hours.
Dr. Jon Harrison (Arizona State University) presented his research on how gravity impacts the distribution of both hemolymph (akin to blood) and air in grasshoppers.
Minicozzi M, Finden A, Gibb A (Northern Arizona University), presented their research on “Are there performance trade-offs in the ability to perform the aquatic C-start and terrestrial tail-flip jump?” The abstract described how different killifishes curve their bodies into a C-shape to escape predators. By curving in such a fashion, they are able to jump away from predators by leaving the water or moving away quickly. They then jump back into the water when the threat has subsided…which hopefully does not take too long.