Cynthia Gill

Dean of Natural Science, Cognitive Science and Critical Social Inquiry and Associate Professor of Physiology
Cynthia Gill
Contact Cynthia

Mail Code NS
Cynthia Gill
Cole Science Center 312
413.559.5358

Cynthia Gill, dean of Natural Science, Cognitive Science, and Critical Social Inquiry and associate professor of physiology, received her B.S. in biology from the University of North Carolina and her Ph.D. in neuroendocrinology from the University of Virginia.

Professor Gill did postdoctoral research at the University of Texas examining the development of brain steroid receptor regulation in parthenogenetic and gender-reversed lizards. She also studies neural regulation and connectivity in response to hormonally-mediated environmental cues. Her interests span the areas of human and comparative physiology, neuroscience, endocrinology, herpetology, conservation biology, and behavioral biology. She's also a triathlete and adventure racer with an interest in exercise physiology.

Recent and Upcoming Courses

  • Students in this course will learn about the biological function of selected human organs and systems through the study of actual medical cases. Not all human systems will be covered, but students will gain a good understanding of how diseases affect the body and how they are diagnosed. Students will develop diagnoses for medical cases through review of descriptions of patient histories, physical exams, and laboratory findings. A human biology text, medical texts on reserve, and Internet resources will help students track down information they need to solve these medical mysteries. Students will also learn to find and read scientific research articles on topics of their choosing and will learn to write analytical reviews of these articles. These reviews will form the basis of final papers in which students choose particular diseases or treatments to investigate in detail and present their findings to the class. Keywords: biology, health, disease, physiology, medicine

  • No description available

  • The social, nutritional and sensory environment of an organism can dramatically affect the expression of specific hormones. Those hormones, in turn, can determine the development, degree of plasticity and output of the nervous system. Thus, the behavior an organism can have is sometimes determined by the endocrine constraints on the nervous system. This course examines how the endocrine system interacts with the nervous system to influence behavior in a range of organisms. We'll start with the foundations of nervous and endocrine system physiology and anatomy with consideration of common methods and techniques in neuroendocrine and behavioral research. Then we will focus on some specific behaviors such as parental behavior, reproductive behavior, feeding, affiliation, aggression, learning, and memory. In addition, we'll consider the range of normal to "abnormal" behaviors and the neuroendocrine factors that could influence these behaviors. Keywords: neuroscience, behavior, animal, endocrinology, biology

  • No description available

  • Students in this course will learn about the biological function of selected human organs and systems through the study of actual medical cases. Not all human systems will be covered, but students will gain a good understanding of how diseases affect the body and how they are diagnosed. Working in small teams, students will develop diagnoses for medical cases through reviewing descriptions of patient histories, physical exams, and laboratory findings. A human biology text, medical texts on reserve, and Internet resources will help students track down information they need to solve these medical mysteries. Students will also learn to find and read scientific research articles on topics of their choosing and will learn to write analytical reviews of these articles. These reviews will form the basis of final papers in which students choose particular diseases or treatments to investigate in detail and present their findings to the class. Keywords: biology, health, disease, physiology, medicine

  • Animal Physiology: This course will cover physiology of organ systems in a variety of animal phyla, including vertebrates and invertebrates. Topics can include nutrition, temperature regulation and neural, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, digestive and endocrine function. One focus will be on cellular and molecular mechanisms common across systems and phyla. We will spend some time outdoors and at the Hampshire College Farm. Students will engage in class problems, discussion, and reading of text and primary science literature. Key words: biology, physiology, animal, health