September 4, 2018

Jennifer Niemuth (North Carolina State University)

An evolutionary model of physiologic adaptations to hypothermia and reperfusion


This study will evaluate whether understanding the physiology of sea turtles can provide insight into the evolution of how animals and humans respond to sudden exposure to cold environmental conditions. We will compare results of metabolomic data already gathered from sea turtles naturally exposed suddenly to cold ocean conditions in the wild, and with normal unaffected individuals, to findings in the scientific literature on the physiologic responses of humans and other animals to exposure to cold and rewarming. We hope to identify metabolic changes that are either highly conserved or extremely divergent across the broad evolutionary history of the ancient sea turtles and mammals. Such findings could help us understand the best ways to reduce the harm of exposure to sudden extreme cold and recovery from such exposure. (website)