Phone: (719) 549-2213(office)
FAX: (719) 549-2993
Office: LS 250
This is the short bio section...
BIOL 171 Career Planning
BIOL 223/L Human Anatomy & Physiology I
BIOL 224/L Human Anatomy & Physiology II
BIOL 321/L Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
BIOL 414/L Vertebrate Physiology
My primary research interests are in animal physiology. Previous studies in my lab at CSU-Pueblo have investigated behavioral thermoregulation in senescent rats. These studies have shown that the neural pathways involved in heat-seeking behavior in response to acute cold stress remain intact and functional as older rats advance into senescence. That is, senescent rats maintain a strong drive to seek a warm zone when placed in a thermal gradient following cold exposure. This occurs despite the fact that other key components of the thermoregulatory system become less functional in senescence, including brown adipose tissue thermogenesis. Heat gained passively from the warm environment reduces the metabolic energy that must be expended by the senescent rat during re-warming, sparing body energy stores that are already in decline from the rapid body weight loss that occurs at the transition to senescence.
More recent studies in my lab have focused on bone health and dietary synbiotics. Specifically, we are interested in determining if bone
mineralization and strength are positively influenced by a synbiotic diet comprised of probiotics (beneficial gut microorganisms such as
Lactobacillus acidophilus) and prebiotics (foods like oligosaccharides that serve as fuels for the gut microbes). The bone studies are being
worked on in collaboration with Dr. Cynthia Blanton, Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID. We have
utilized a variety of experimental methods and techniques to assess bone functional health, including ICP-MS analysis to determine bone elemental composition of major minerals and trace elements, bone histomorphology to determine architectural properties such as cortical wall thickness and cross-sectional area, bone micro-computed tomography (CT) to determine microanatomy, and 3-point mechanical strength testing to determine fracture force and Young's modulus, working with the engineering faculty (Dr. Huseyin Sarper and Dr. Jude Depalma) and students at CSU-Pueblo.