Associate Professor of Physiology
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.
Stress is a daily part of our lives that has become an intense subject of interest among scientists and the medical community. The body's responses to stress are linked to multiple health problems, but stress can also be overused as an explanation. In this course, we will examine the scientific evidence for the links between stress and human health issues such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and depression. This will include readings of primary scientific research papers and coverage of basic physiological mechanisms in humans and other animals. Students will learn techniques to measure stress, stress hormones and glucose regulation. In addition, as community service outreach, students will develop projects to explore the effectiveness of stress relief options in the college community.
Dreaming about winning a Nobel Prize in medicine? You might need this class exploring exciting topics in contemporary biomedical research.We will focus on rapidly advancing areas such as human microbiome, immunology targeted drug delivery, circadian rhythms, and more, with each of 6 Natural Science faculty members leading discussions on a cutting edge topic. Activities will include analysis of research papers, exploration of methodologies, problem solving, and an examination of the implications of this research for the future of medicine. Finally, students will have the opportunity to conduct independent inquiry into a topic of interest to them.
With humans as our primary model system, we will cover cellular and general tissue physiology and the endocrine, nervous, cardiovascular, digestive, respiratory, and renal organ systems. Primary emphasis is on functional processes in these systems and on cellular and molecular mechanisms common across systems. Students will engage in class problems, lectures, and reading of secondary science literature. Basic knowledge of and comfort with biology, chemistry, and math is necessary.
This course will cover physiology of organ systems within animal phyla with special emphasis on physiological adaptations of organisms to their environment. Topics will include osmoregulation, 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'll also examine unique adaptations to extreme environments. Knowledge of basic biology and chemistry is not required but is recommended. Students will engage in class problems, lectures, and reading of text and primary scientific literature.
The function of the brain can hardly be examined without considering the influence of the endocrine system. 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 the endocrine system and how it interacts with the nervous system to influence behavior in a range of organisms, including humans. 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.