Kendra J. Greenlee

Associate Professor
North Dakota State University
Department of Biological Sciences
Stevens Hall 317

phone:  701-231-6270
fax:  701-231-7149


Developmental physiology of insects

     Development of physiological traits is a critical aspect of evolutionary and ecological physiology.  Development plays an important role along the pathway from gene to phenotype, since in any situation where a new trait has evolved, alterations in ontogeny must also have occurred.  My research program seeks to understand the mechanisms and consequences of developmental changes in physiology.  Insects are excellent models for understanding physiological changes that occur with growth, because they are typically fast growing and have juvenile and adult morphologies that may be either different (insects that metamorphose) or similar (hemimetabolous insects).  Development of respiratory system is particularly interesting, because, as all organisms grow in size, total oxygen demand varies with age.  Variation in respiratory system capacity among life stages may have important ecological consequences, such as life-stage specific limitations on activity or acceptable habitats.  Equally interesting is development of the immune system, because as habitats change across life stages, potential pathogen exposures may also vary.  Additionally, most selection occurs during juvenile stages, since young animals have higher rates of mortality than adults.  

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