The Secor Laboratory of Evolutionary and Integrative Physiology

at the University of Alabama

 

Graduate Research

 

I welcome inquiries and applications to undertake graduate studies in my laboratory under my supervision. I accept students for both Masters and PhD programs. In my laboratory, I require that a Masters be completed elsewhere or here before initiation a PhD program. Research projects should fall under the general realm of experimental comparative or integrative physiology with a focus on a particular organ system (e.g., digestive system, cardiovascular system, etc), energetics, or response to environmental perturbations. While the majority of our studies are laboratory based, I encourage the combining of field studies with laboratory experiments. We work largely with amphibians and reptiles and have started new studies with fishes. I will also consider projects on invertebrates, birds, or mammals.

 

Interested students need to contact me prior to applying. I require all prospective students to visit my laboratory prior to being accepted into my program. Key to success in my lab is being able to work independently and willing to work with a team of other students. In my training, I emphasize foremost the development of questions and experimental design and writing. Good writing skills and publishing are a necessity to success in academia. Incoming graduate students are immediately put on an ongoing project that they will then start analyzing data, developing tables and figures, and writing sections of a manuscript. This work, which is independent of their thesis/dissertation research, will ultimately lead to their first publication out of the lab.

 

Visit the Graduate Student page on the UA website for more information regarding applying to UA and to access on-line application forms.

 

 

Current Graduate Students

 

 

 

 

David Hall

            • B.S. University of Florida, Zoology (2008)
            • Prior to arriving in Tuscaloosa, David was a technician for Dr. Elliott Jacobson at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, as well as assisting Dr. Robert Holt (Dept. of Zoology).
            • He is currently working on a M.S. He is investigating liver and kidney tissue performance as part of the post-prandial response of Burmese python, Python molurus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matthew Smith

  • B.S. Georgia Southern University (2009)
  • Matt is currently working on his Masters degree. He is investigating the morphological and physiological responses to aestivation for the amphiuma.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joshua Mays

            • B.S. Arizona State University (2009)
            • Josh is interested in the comparative digestive physiology of fishes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Completed Graduate Students

 

Scott Bessler, M.S.

  • B.S. Northern Kentucky University
  • For his Master's thesis, Scott is examining the gradient of luminal pH between the python's esophagus and stomach and the mechanism responsible for preventing the acidification of the lower region of the python's esophagus.
  • Publications while in my laboratory:
              1. Bessler, S.M., M.C. Stubblefield, G.R. Ultsch, and S.M. Secor. Determinants and modeling of specific dynamic action for the garter snake, Thamnophis sirtalis. Can. J. Zool. 88:808-820.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christian Cox, M.S.

  • B.S. Iowa State University
  • For his Master's thesis, Christian examined the integrative responses of gastric, pancreatic, and intestinal enzymes to fasting and feeding in the Burmese python. Christian also worked on other projects; determinants of anuran SDA, digestive efficiencies of Burmese pythons, cost of digesting raw and cooked meals, and the postprandial digestive responses of the diamondback watersnake
  • Publications while in my laboratory:
    1. Secor, S.M., J.A. Wooten, and C.L. Cox. 2007. Effects of meal size, meal type, and body temperature on the specific dynamic action of anuran. J. Comp. Physiol. B 177:170-1
    2. Boback, S.M., C.L. Cox, B.D. Ott, R. Carmody, R.W. Wrangham, and S.M. Secor. 2007. Cooking and grinding reduces the cost of meat digestion. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. A 148:651-656.
    3. Cox, C.L., and S.M. Secor. 2007. Determinants of energy efficiencies in juvenile Burmese pythons, Python molurus. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 148A:861-868.
    4. Cox, C.L. and S.M. Secor. 2008. Matched regulation of gastrointestinal performance in the Burmese python, Python molurus. J. Exp. Biol. 211:1131-1140.
    5. Cox, C.L. and S. M. Secor. 2010. Integrated postprandial responses of the diamondback watersnake, Nerodia rhombifer. Physiol. Biochem. Zool. Accepted

 

 

Brian Ott, M.S.
  • B.S. College of Charleston
  • For his Master's thesis, Brian compared the postprandial responses among five species of pythons; African rock python, ball python, blood python, Burmese python, and reticulated python. Brian also assisted in the study to examine the cost of digesting raw and cooked meals.
  • Publications while in my laboratory:
          1. Ott, B.D., and S.M. Secor. 2007. Adaptive regulation of digestive performance in the genus Python. J Exp. Biol. 210:340-356
          2. Secor, S.M., and B.D. Ott. 2007. Adaptive correlation between feeding habits and digestive physiology for boas and python. Pp. 257-268. In: Biology of Boas and Pythons (R.W. Henderson and R. Powell, eds.). Eagle Mtn Publ.
  1. Ott, B.D., and S.M. Secor. 2007. The specific dynamic action of boas and pythons. Pp. 299-310. In: Biology of Boas and Pythons (R.W. Henderson and R. Powell, eds.). Eagle Mtn Publ.
  2. Boback, S.M., C.L. Cox, B.D. Ott, R. Carmody, R.W. Wrangham, and S.M. Secor. 2007. Cooking and grinding reduces the cost of meat digestion. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. A 148:651-656.