About the Lab


Our NIH and NSF-funded research program is directed at understanding why certain pond turtles of the family Emydidae, namely the painted turtle Chrysemys picta, and slider turtle, Trachemys scripta, are able to tolerate and fully recover from extremely long periods without any oxygen, also known as anoxia.  The painted turtle, in particular, can survive for more than 170 days without oxygen at 3°C (37°F), a condition they can experience while overwintering in ice-covered ponds. This ability makes the painted turtle the most anoxia-tolerant tetrapod known to science.


Current Projects

Projects currently being carried out in the lab include:
  • The use of stable isotopes to understand the metabolic fate of lactate during and following anoxia in painted turtles. Funded by the National Institutes of Health
  • Mechanical properties of shell and skeleton during anoxia in turtles. Funded by the National Science Foundation.
  • Intracellular pH regulation in isolated cardiomyocytes in turtles. Funded by the National Science Foundation.
  • The mechanics of contraction in anoxic turtle heart. Funded by the National Science Foundation.
  • Transcriptomic responses of heart, brain, and bone during anoxia in painted turtles. Funded by the National Science Foundation.

microCT of painted turtle femur

microCT image of painted turtle plastron

A painted turtle breathing and swimming after anoxia





                                                                                                                     




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