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Ben Speers-Roesch Lab

Environmental change can challenge the persistence of animals by limiting function and performance. My research program uses whole-animal, physiological, and biochemical approaches to explore two fundamental questions.

First, how do physiological responses allow animals to function, perform, and persist in challenging environments, such as hypoxic or frigid waters? Second, what are the physiological linkages between environmental variability, organismal function and performance, and ecological and evolutionary patterns?

Some examples of our recent research include investigations into how some fishes cope with winter by hibernating, and how the hearts of hypoxia-tolerant fishes continue to function under low levels of oxygen while those of hypoxia-sensitive fishes fail. A common thread emerging from our research is the importance of metabolism, and the cardiorespiratory system that sustains it, as key mediators of the tolerance or sensitivity of animals to environmental change.

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