Ecophysiology

Ecophysiological investigations are the core of our lab's research activities. We examine how physiological systems and processes of animals respond to changing environmental factors, such as temperature, salinity, acidity, and aquatic oxygen levels. We are fascinated by how animals cope with extreme environmental factors (e.g. aridity, hypoxia/anoxia) or changing conditions and ask questions about the flexibility and plasticity of physiological systems.

Current research topics

  • Elucidating mechanisms for the role of increasing ultraviolet-B radiation in global amphibian declines
  • Exploring how diets can be used to change the thermal phenotype of aquaculture fish species
  • Exploring the interactive effects of nitrate on aquatic organisms
  • Investigating the physiology of an aestivating frog (Cyclorana alboguttata), including regulation of metabolism, thermal tolerance, digestive function and inhibition of muscle disuse atrophy
  • Role of the cloaca in salt and water balance in estuarine crocodiles
  • The cloacal bursae of Australian freshwater turtles: A multifunctional organ

Research opportunities

Various projects are available from the Franklin lab, see available projects for existing research or contact us to discuss potential projects.

Aestivating frog
A striped burrowing frog (Cyclorana alboguttata), used for studying the physiology of aestivation.
Bull shark
A juvenile bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas), used to study salt and water balance in fluctuating environments.
File snake
A file snake (Acrochordus arafurae), used to study diving physiology.