Ryan W. Bavis

Helen A. Papaioanou Professor of Biological Sciences



Bonney Science Center, Room 287



Ph.D. Organismal Biology and Ecology, University of Montana

Research Interests

I study respiratory physiology with a particular emphasis on the neural control of breathing in mammals and birds. Specifically, my research focuses on the changes in breathing that occur around birth and how environmental conditions during early life influence the development of the respiratory control system (i.e., developmental plasticity). I strive to incorporate both biomedical and evolutionary perspectives into my research program.

Student Research Opportunities

Humans and other animals typically respond to acute changes in oxygen or carbon dioxide concentrations with protective changes in breathing, metabolic rate, and/or body temperature. How and why do these responses differ within and across species? How much of this variation is a product of an individual’s developmental age or a product of their environment (i.e., plasticity)? When is this variation beneficial and when is it maladaptive? These are the types of questions that are regularly addressed by students working in my lab. Students usually test their hypotheses on rats, quail, or anoles, although we’ve worked with a variety of other vertebrate and invertebrate animal models. Techniques commonly used in the lab include noninvasive measurements of breathing and metabolism, in vitro electrophysiological recordings of carotid body chemoreceptor activity, and a variety of histological and molecular assays. Please contact me if you want to learn more about research opportunities in my lab.

Selected Publications

Underlined names = Bates students.

Bavis RW. Effect of perinatal hyperoxia on breathing. Compr Physiol 10: 597-636, 2020.

Song MJPratt AE, Bavis RW. Development of ventilatory chemoreflexes in Coturnix quail chicks. Respir Physiol Neurobiol 276: 103411, 2020.

Bavis RW, Song MJSmachlo JPHulse AKenison HRPeralta JPPlace JTTriebwasser SWarden SE, McDonough AB. Ventilatory and carotid body responses to acute hypoxia in rats exposed to chronic hypoxia during the first and second postnatal weeks. Respir Physiol Neurobiol 275: 103400, 2020.

Bavis RW, Millström AHKim SMMacDonald CAO’Toole CAAsklof K, McDonough AB. Combined effects of intermittent hyperoxia and intermittent hypercapnic hypoxia on respiratory control in neonatal rats. Respir Physiol Neurobiol 260: 70-81, 2019.

Bavis RW, Li K-Y, DeAngelis KJMarch RJWallace JA, Logan S, and Putnam RW. 2017. Ventilatory and chemoreceptor responses to hypercapnia in neonatal rats chronically exposed to moderate hyperoxia. Respir Physiol Neurobiol 237: 22-34.

Bavis RW and MacFarlane PM. 2017. Developmental plasticity in the neural control of breathing. Exper Neurol 287: 176-191.

Logan STobin KEFallon SCDeng KS, McDonough AB, and Bavis RW. 2016. Chronic intermittent hyperoxia alters the development of the hypoxic ventilatory response in neonatal rats. Respir Physiol Neurobiol 220: 69-80.

Bavis RW, DeAngelis KJHorowitz TCReedich LM, and March RJ. 2014. Hyperoxia-induced developmental plasticity of the hypoxic ventilatory response in neonatal rats: contributions of glutamate-dependent and PDGF-dependent mechanisms. Respir Physiol Neurobiol 191: 84-94.