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The same degree of temperature change does not affect organisms equally, but WHY?
The question can be addressed both in evolutionary and physiological perspectives, and is a key to understand how species have adapted to thermal environments. This will ultimately be a clue to evaluate species' potential to adapt or survive through recent climate warming.
I put my research focus on organisms' responses to temperature stimuli at molecular and behavioral levels, particularly for ectothermic animals.
Areas of Interests
Evolutionary Ecology / Evolutionary Physiology / Habitat Partitioning / Thermal Adaptation / Thermoregulatory Behavior / Thermal Perception / Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) Ion Channel
Evolution of Heat Perception in Ectotherms
Organisms perceive thermal stimuli via Transient Receptor Potential ion channels (TRPs) expressed on sensory neurons. Recent studies show that the activation temperature of TRPs varies across species, but its physiological significance remains unknown. By integrating previously reported studies, this paper suggests that heat-vulnerable species feel hotter than heat-tolerant species even if they experience the same degrees of temperatures.
Habitat Partitioning along Thermal Gradients
In Cuba, numbers of Anolis lizards are known to segregate their habitats along environmental thermal gradients. In spite of ectothermy, why are they capable of inhabiting different thermal microhabitats?
Evolutionary Divergence in Thermal Perception
How do Cuban Anolis lizards prefer specific temperatures and avoid adjacent thermal microhabitats?
Temperature-dependent Sex Determination
Temperature affects behavioral and physiological performances of organisms, and can even affect the sex ratio in some reptiles, including turtles. Sex of those reptiles is determined by environmental temperatures experienced during embryonic development. How do they perceive and transmit temperature stimuli into sexual differentiation? This paper describes the chronology of morphological and gonadal development in Reeves' turtles to deduce their developmental periods (or stages) critical for sexual differentiation.
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