MBL | Biological Discovery in Woods Hole Contact UsDirectionsText SizeSmallMediumLarge

Resources for Reporters:

MBL Publications:

Join the Conversation:
Facebook Twitter Youtube Wordpress

Nobel Laureates

press releases

For further MBL News and Media Information, contact the MBL Communications Office at (508) 289-7423 or e-mail us at comm@mbl.edu .

Animal Strategies for Surviving the Arctic's Long, Cold, and Dark Winters is Topic of the July 1 Friday Evening Lecture at the MBL

WOODS HOLE, MA—Brian Barnes, Director of the Institute of the Artic Biology and Professor of Zoophysiology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks will present the next Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) Friday Evening Lecture on July 1 at 8:00 PM in the MBL’s Lillie Auditorium, located on MBL Street in Woods Hole. His lecture is titled "Overwintering in the Arctic: Animal Strategies for Surviving the Long, Cold, and Dark.” The presentation is free and open to the public. Dr. John Hobbie, a Marine Biological Laboratory Senior Scientist and Co-Director of The Ecosystems Center will introduce Dr. Barnes.

In Alaska, winters begin early, last seemingly forever, and are very cold, snowy, and dark. Dr. Barnes’ talk will review the physiological and behavioral strategies available to animals for surviving and coping with arctic winters, including freeze tolerance in frogs, supercooling in insects, and hibernation in ground squirrels and bears. Using data logging and advanced telemetry, the locations, behavior, sleep, circadian rhythms, cardiovascular patterns, and thermoregulation of animals are recorded as they overwinter under natural conditions. Little is known about the genetic and molecular basis of hibernation, but discovering its mechanisms could lead to novel clinical therapies and escape strategies in humans.

Dr. Barnes received his Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Washington in 1983 and was a post-doctoral fellow in the Departments of Zoology and Psychology at the University of California from 1983 to 1986. Dr. Barnes was also a Visiting Scholar at Norway’s University of Tromsø in 1995 and a Visiting Professor at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands in 1996. He is a member of the Board of Editors of the University of Alaska Press, Sigma Xi, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society of Mammalogists, and the American Society of Physiology, among other organizations. Dr. Barnes has also served as the Research Focus Leader for the National Science Foundation’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) in Integrative Approaches to Environmental Physiology from 2000 to 2004.

The Friday Evening Lecture Series will continue throughout the summer at the MBL.  The remaining lectures in the series as well as full abstracts and speaker bios can be found here.

—### —

The Marine Biological Laboratory is an internationally known, independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to improving the human condition through creative research and education in the biological, biomedical and environmental sciences. Founded in 1888, the MBL is the oldest private marine laboratory in the Western Hemisphere.