Environmental and physiological variation
The overarching research goal of the Dowd laboratory is to understand the interactions between environmental variation and physiological variation. Current models include rocky intertidal zone mussels (in the genus Mytilus) and tidepool copepods (Tigriopus californicus), focusing on small-scale spatial and temporal environmental variation and its relationship to inter-individual and inter-species differences in physiological phenomena such as thermal tolerance, antioxidant capacity, and measures of performance (growth/fecundity). We are particularly interested in potential biochemical mediators of cross-talk between responses to multiple environmental stressors (e.g., salinity, temperature, oxygen, food availability), as well as the broader ecological and evolutionary consequences of these mechanisms. We work in the laboratory and in dynamic coastal habitats.