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SEMINAR: The regulation of brain temperature in mammals and factors affecting the daily rhythm of body temperature.

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The regulation of brain temperature in mammals and factors affecting the daily rhythm of body temperature. : School of Anatomy, Physiology & Human Biology Seminar Series Other events...
The Seminar: The seminar will focus on the two main areas of research conducted in the comparative and thermal physiology lab; the mechanism and use of selective brain cooling in some animals, and the variation in the circadian rhythm of core body temperature (and what it might mean). When it was first discovered selective brain cooling was promulgated as an adaptation that protected a thermally vulnerable brain during heat exposure. Over the last few years we have shown that this does not seem to be the case because the only time free-living animals get very hot is during exercise, and during exercise selective brain cooling is not activated. Rather the mechanism seems to have a direct effect on water use for thermoregulation in hot conditions, via panting and sweating. Thus the selective importance of the mechanism is quite subtle and is related to water economy rather than to thermoregulation per se.

Traditionally it is accepted that small mammals have all the machinery required to be homeothermic (maintain a constant, high body temperature), but for reasons of energy economy occasionally abandon homeothermy and enter torpor or hibernation. Large mammals are considered to be strict homeotherms. Data we have collected from a range of ‘large’ mammals suggests that energy balance can effect homeothermy in them too, suggesting that thermoregulatory patterns in animals form a continuum rather than a strict dichotomy. We use these data to show, though, that a better homeotherm performs better on several measures of animal performance, including growth and reproduction. Whether this is a cause and effect relationship remains to be established.

The Speaker: Shane Maloney is a Professor in the School of Anatomy, Physiology, and Human Biology at the University of Western Australia. He did his PhD at the University of New South Wales on thermal biology of the emu followed by a post-doctoral fellowship in the Brain Function Research Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand, where he focussed on brain temperature regulation in mammals. Since 1999 he has been at the University of Western Australia where his research centres on environmental physiology in man and other animals, with a focus on heat balance, energy use, and the mechanisms of thermoregulation.
Speaker(s) Professor Shane Maloney, School of Anatomy, Physiology & Human Biology, UWA
Location Seminar room 1.81, Anatomy, Physiology & Human Biology building north
Contact Debbie Hull <[email protected]> : 6488 3313
URL http://www.aphb.uwa.edu.au/research/seminars
Start Tue, 29 May 2012 13:00
End Tue, 29 May 2012 14:00
Submitted by Debbie Hull <[email protected]>
Last Updated Thu, 10 May 2012 11:47
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