Mercyhurst University

Michael Elnitsky, Ph.D.

Dean, Zurn College of Natural and Health Science

Zurn 104

814-824-2346

Bachelor’s Institution and degree: B.S. Biology, Slippery Rock University

Master’s Institution and degree: M.S. Zoology, Miami University

 

Doctorate Institution and degree: Ph.D. Zoology, Miami University

 

List of Courses taught in past 5 years:

  • BIO 146/147: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology of Organisms
  • BIO 292/293:Field Ecology
  • BIO 360/361:Systems Physiology
  • BIO 344/345: Human Physiology
  • BIO 354/355: Biology of Insects
  • BIO 290: Environmental Physiology
  • SCI 100/101: Environmental Problem Solving

 

Brief Research Description: 

I am broadly interested in the ecological and physiological response of ectothermic animals, particularly insects, amphibians, and reptiles, to environmental stress, with special interest in the adaptations of these animals for low temperature survival.  Animals in temperate and polar regions have evolved a variety of strategies for the tolerance of seasonal subzero temperatures, decreases in water availability, and the dramatic changes in incident light associated with winter.  To fully understand how these organisms interact with and survive in their natural environment my research spans from the molecular to the ecological level of organization.  This research is particularly amenable to undergraduate researchers, allowing students the opportunity to develop independent research projects while becoming proficient in both field and laboratory techniques.  I expect students to take the lead in data collection and analysis, and encourage them to present their research findings at professional meetings and work toward the submission of senior-authored manuscripts for publication.