Biological Sciences Seminar

So, I’m giving a seminar to my department this Friday, entitled “Beaks and scales and lizardly tales, from Galápagos and Brasil.  A sabbatical report”.

It seems unusual to promote this or even to suggest people attend my seminar, but here it is, for posterity.

Date/Time: Friday, December 2, 12:00 noon
Place: Sankey Chamber, Brock University



Major milestone: Most # of backers!

We just heard from that our crowd-sourced hummingbirds proposal has won the “most number of backers” category (just over 100 at this point in writing) which means our project received an additional $500 from the people.

Stay tuned for more info in 14 days, when the fund raising period is over and we can start the hard work sourcing equipment, supplies and arranging the field work.

Thank you to all of our backers!


Review paper on Infrared Thermography in Ecophysiology

My Infrared Thermography Review paper is finally out!  (Elsevier does have a slow publication process…it was accepted in March, but thankfully published in the same calendar year: 2016).

For a limited time, this paper is freely available at the following link:



The review is part of a special issue on “Ecophysiology methods: refining the old, validating the new and developing for the future” edited by Dr. Jordi Altimiras and Dr. Gary Anderson found here:

I think this special issue will be a useful resource for physiologists taking their research into the field as well as ecologists who should learn some physiology before they start using these approaches.

Half-way there…

So, as of today (Nov 15th), our crowd-sourced research fund raising campaign reached the 50% mark!  This is great news, and we still have 17 days left.

I feel like someone selling cookies door to door, but here is the link for anyone interested in our kind of research and showing their interest in the form of currency.



Physiology is where Anatomy hits the road

I just received the American Association of Anatomists (AAA) newsletter where there is a nice summary and write-up about the symposium that Dr. Ruger Porter and myself hosted earlier this year at the International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology.

What a great bunch of researchers.  Our discussions before and after the symposium were some of the most interesting I have had.  It is definitely worth crossing disciplinary boundaries and working with new people.

The AAA kindly provided financial support for our symposium, which was crucial to its success.

Here is the link and the summary pasted below.


Research Meeting Outreach Grant at ICVM: Bringing Together Anatomists and Physiologists From Around the World
By Wm. Ruger Porter, Lecturer of Human Anatomy, Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine;
Glenn Tattersall, Professor of Physiology, Brock University
From June 29 – July 3 2016, the International Congress of Vertebrate Morphologists hosted a symposium designed to bring together anatomists and physiologists from around the world to present their research on the functional relationship between anatomy and physiology. The American Association of Anatomists Research Outreach Grant supported travel for seven researchers from Japan, South Africa, Canada, and the United States. Each presentation had a physiological question at its core, and explored that question from either an anatomical or physiological perspective. Wm Ruger Porter’s presentation provided evidence for the anatomical and physiological role of blood vessels in the thermoregulatory strategies of dinosaurs and their modern relatives. Glenn Tattersall showed that bird beak morphology influences its ability to shed heat and is subject to selection by environmental temperatures. Colleen Farmer presented her lab’s research on the relationship between red blood cell size, maximum oxygen consumption and metabolic status, and provided provocative evidence in modern taxa to assist in predicting extinct taxa metabolic status. Shoji Hayashi provided details on the bone histology of island deer that allowed them to calculate the metabolic status of an extinct deer species. Maartin Strauss provided several new insights into the physiological role of the artiodactyl carotid rete, including which physiological parameters influence water conservation. Jason Bourke’s presentation provided evidence for the anatomy of the nasal cavity in five dinosaur species and the role of nasal cavity morphology in thermoregulation and water conservation. Finally, Haley O’Brien presented her research on not only the anatomy and physiology of the artiodactyl carotid rete, but also its role in shaping the evolutionary success of artiodactyls.

Most of the participants in this symposium were young scientists that earned their degrees within the last five years. The Research Outreach Grant alleviated travel costs, providing critical support for their participation in this ICVM symposium, and ensured their opportunity to present their cutting-edge research to an international audience and interact with world-class researchers to foster new interdisciplinary collaborations