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Ryan Bavis – Animal Physiology

Respiratory physiology and neurobiology

Professor Bavis studies respiratory physiology, with a particular emphasis on the neural control of breathing in mammals and birds. Recent research projects in his laboratory have focused on the interaction between environmental conditions during early life and development of the respiratory control system (i.e., developmental plasticity). The primary objectives of his research program are to identify the functional significance and underlying mechanisms of plasticity in the control of breathing.

He and his students use an integrative approach to study these problems, combining molecular, histological and electrophysiological techniques with studies in the intact animal (typically rats, mice, and quail, but also other vertebrate and invertebrate species). Ultimately, understanding the neural control of breathing has broad biomedical and evolutionary significance, and Professor Bavis strives to incorporate both perspectives into his research. Professor Bavis’s research interests are not limited to the control of breathing, however. Throughout his research career he has been interested in how variation in oxygen and carbon dioxide influence other physiological processes, such as thermoregulation and energy metabolism, and how these gases impact growth, development and behavior. Professor Bavis has also mentored student-originated thesis research projects in diverse areas of animal physiology and behavioral ecology.

Selected Publications

2011 Bavis, R.W., I. Kim, N. Pradhan, N. Nawreen, E.F. Dmitrieff, J.L. Carroll, and D.F. Donnelly. Recovery of carotid body O2 sensitivity following chronic postnatal hyperoxia in rats. Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology. 177:47-55

2011 Dmitrieff, E.F., J.T. Wilson, K.B. Dunmire, and R.W. Bavis. Chronic hyperoxia alters the expression of neurotrophic factors in the carotid body of neonatal rats. Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology. 175:220–227

2010 Bavis, R.W., K.M. Young, K.J. Barry, M.R. Boller, E. Kim, P.M. Klein, A.R. Ovrutsky, and D.A. Rampersad. Chronic hyperoxia alters the early and late phases of the hypoxic ventilatory response in neonatal rats. Journal of Applied Physiology. 109:796-803

Selected Mentored Theses

van Heerden, Eliza 2011. Cardiorespiratory effects of chronic hyperoxia in neonatal rats.

Atchley, Dylan 2008. Thermoregulatory and metabolic responses of Japanese quail to hypoxia and hypercapnia.

Piro, Samantha 2007. Effects of perinatal hyperoxia on ventilation and carotid body growth in rats.


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