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Courses Taught by Dr. Fernando Galvez


BIOL 4160- Vertebrate Physiology, 3 credit hours
Class Syllabus

This course will use an integrative approach to examine the principles of vertebrate physiology, with an emphasis on mammalian systems. In this course, we examine various topics including the physiology of cells and molecules, mechanisms of cell-cell communication, gastrointestinal physiology, cardiovascular physiology, respiratory physiology, and excretory systems. The large breadth of coverage of different physiological systems provides students broad training in the discipline, and prepares students for entry into postgraduate programs. The course also touches on important concepts in chemistry, physics, and mathematics as they relate to physiological systems. Students are expected to understand how different physiological systems work in a coordinated fashion to maintain organismal homeostasis. Despite the large number of facts students must master, I tend to put a greater weight on critical analyses, data interpretation, and experimental design. In spite of the large size of the classes, I often partake in class discussions, and routinely seek input from the students. As of the Fall 2010 semester, both sections of this course are being team-taught with Dr. John Caprio.


BIOL 4161- Vertebrate Physiology Laboratory, 1 credit hour
Class Syllabus

This course is not about physiology so much as it is about the practice of physiology: asking questions about how organisms function, and answering those questions through appropriately-designed experiments.  Most of the “facts” provided to you in lecture courses or in standard textbooks provide material that has been predigested and usually simplified.  In this course you will learn, through direct experience, the real relationship between physiological questions, experiments designed to answer those questions, the data produced by those experiments, the analysis and presentation of the resulting data, and, finally, the “answers” to the questions. 


BIOL 4170- Comparative Animal Physiology, 3 credit hours
Class Syllabus

This course (previously BIOL 4800-Special Topics) covers advanced principles of comparative animal physiology, with an emphasis on the responses of non-adapted animals to changes in the environment, and will compare these responses to animals adapted to those environments. The study of animal physiology is interested in the function of animals, from the interaction of organ systems, down to the action of individual molecules. We will examine the adaptations of specific animals at different levels of biological organization allowing them to tolerate environmental extremes. Typical stressors that we will cover include salinity, water limitation, hypoxia, altitude, depth, temperature extremes, exercise, and pollution. Many of these environmental stressors are relevant to the Gulf Coast region, and we will discuss issues of local relevance whenever possible to illustrate how the environmental stressors, including anthropoegenic disturbances, are likely to adversely impact local animal populations. The physiological systems that will be discussed include gas exchange, circulation, osmoregulation, metabolism, thermoregulation, and the endocrine, and neural control of these systems..


BIOL 7901- Seminar Course in Comparative Physiology of Salt and Water Balance,
1 credit hour
Class Syllabus

This seminar course will review the physiology of water and salt balance in diverse groups of animals including: mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, mollusks, crustaceans, reptiles, or the process of differing physiology in developing vertebrates. We will use an integrative approach to gain an understanding of osmoregulation from the level of organ systems down to the action of individual cells and molecules. Students will be expected to give 2 seminars in the semester ranging from 20-30 minutes in length. Following each seminar, the student will then act as a group discussion leader encouraging others to provide their input, feedback, questions, etc. Our goal will be to develop unifying themes central to the physiological processes of osmoregulation in animals and the influence of environment and development on these processes.

Teaching Outside The Box

The Galvez Lab recently participated in an experimental teaching exercise where Benjamin Dubansky instructed two sections of introductory biology laboratory students by immersing them in research.  This new technique in teaching allowed introductory-level students to take a crack at cutting edge research techniques such as mRNA extractions of embryonic Gulf killifish, and toxicity testing of embryonic Gulf killifish with field collected sediments and water from areas impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  The program was designed by E. William Wischusen and was a great success.  We hope to implement learning by research in teaching methods in the future. 

Outreach by Dr. Fernando Galvez

Our laboratory participates in the annual Ocean Commotion organized through the LSU Sea Grant College Program. Ocean Commotion attracts thousands of K-8 students from throughout Louisiana. This venue allows our graduate and undergraduate students to discuss the effects of environmental perturbations on aquatic animal populations with elementary school teachers and students.

Ocean Commotion


Useful Teaching Links

American Physiological Society


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Site last updated: 2013-05-23