Most of my current graduate students have aspirations of becoming organismal biologists/physiologists or physiological ecologists. My lab works on several different models from mice to whales to answer questions important in understanding how animals cope or are adapted to their surroundings. Because of my training, more than not, the model of interest in my lab is marine mammals, but this does not mean I think marine mammals are magical beasts capable of a Vulcan mind-meld with humans. I do, however, respect them as physiological and adaptational marvels. Work in my laboratory is aimed primarily at understanding these physiological adaptations. Comparative physiology and physiological ecology have developed as fields with great interest in how and why phenotypic diversity has evolved. My research program, therefore, focuses on the adaptation of physiological systems, as well as their phenotypic plasticity. As physiology cannot properly be understood in isolation from behavior, biochemistry and morphology, my general approach is integrative and collaborative, and crosses traditional boundaries between disciplines.
Prospective graduate students should email a letter of inquiry indicating their areas of interest and describing their previous research or other relevant experience. Please also indicate your grade-point average and G.R.E. scores (if available). Although I am well aware that these are not necessarily good indicators of the likelihood of success in graduate school, they are important in campus-wide competitions and student assessment as well as important indicators of potential.
– Dr. Stephen J. Trumble