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Zoophysiology seeks to understand how animals function. What are the physiological adaptations that enable animals to thrive across virtually any environment on Earth, and how can some of these adaptations reveal general principles that govern life functions?

To address such questions, we study a variety of different animals at all levels of biological organization under the philosophy that mechanisms of adaptation are revealed at the cellular, molecular and organ level, while the functional benefits of these adaptations must be understood through studies of intact organisms in their natural environment. Therefore, we seek to combine laboratory experiments at molecular, cellular, organ and organismal levels with the employment of data loggers to monitor physiological functions in free-roaming animals in natural environments.

Our research focus is on curiosity-driven basic science, but we are also keen to apply the understanding of basic principles on societal problems including the influence of noise and chemical pollution in nature, consequences of global warming, efficiency increases in aquaculture and insect production, as well as pain relief in veterinary medicine. We also collaborate extensively with medical physiology in the development of exotic animal models for clinical research.

Examples of current research themes include

  • Protein usage efficiency in aquaculture
  • Sensory ecology of animals in the wild
  • Respiratory physiology and mitochondrial respiration
  • Temperature physiology of insects
  • Respiratory pigments and regulation of oxygen delivery
  • Digestive physiology and phenotypic flexibility of visceral organs

Our researchers are involved in the following research areas:


Section for Zoophysiology
Aarhus University
Department of Biology
C.F. Møllers Alle´3, building 1131
8000 Aarhus C

Mail: bio@au.dk
TLF.: 8715 0000