Physiology and Behavior


The Physiology and Behavior Concentration focuses on the mechanisms that control and regulate living things. Research spans from cellular to whole-organism and includes physiological and neurological mechanisms of behavior and how those mechanisms are modulated by the environment. This is a doctoral degree only concentration.

Required Coursework

  • AEC502, Introduction to Biology Research (Fall)
  • PHI816, Research Ethics (or equivalent)

Concentration Chair

Dr. Russell Borski

Quantitative Biology Requirement

Choose one course from the following:

  • ST511 or ST512, Experimental Statistics in Biological Sciences I & II (Fall&Spring; Staff)
  • Bioinformatics course, such as BIT815, or others, (with permission from Advisory Committee and Concentration chair)

Physiology or Neurobiology Requirement

Chose one course from the following:

  • PHY503/504, General Physiology I & II (Fall&Spring; Staff)
  • PHY513, Comparative Physiology (Term TBA; Staff)
  • PHY702, Reproductive Physiology (Fall&Spring; Staff)
  • BIO588, Neurobiology (Fall; Staff)
  • BIO592, Endocrinology (Fall, Borski)
  • BIO705, Fundamentals of Neuroscience (Fall; Staff)
  • TBD, Graduate level Hormones and Behavior (Term TBA; staff)
  • ST511 or ST512, Experimental Statistics in Biological Sciences I & II (Fall&Spring; Staff)
  • *Other Physiology and Behavior courses may fulfill this requirement; please consult your Mentor, Advisory Committee, and Concentration Chair if you have a course you would like to substitute in.

Biotechnology Requirement

One course appropriate based on thesis research. BIT courses are commonly taken to fulfill this requirement (, but other courses can also satisfy this requirement. Please consult your Mentor, Advisory Committee, and Concentration Chair.

  • BIT510, Core Technologies in Molecular and Cellular Biology (Fall, Spring, Summer; Staff)
  • BIT595, Special Topics (Fall, Spring, Summer; Staff)

Advising Faculty:

Name Email Website
Areas of Expertise
Belcher, Scott
Molecular and cellular biology, Physiology
Borski, Russell
Fish endocrinology and physiological, molecular, and cellular developmental biology
Buchwalter, David
Ecophysiology and toxicology
Godwin, John
Behavior, Neuroendocrinology, Neurobiology, Sex determination
Hartsone-Rose, Adam
Functional Morphology; anatomy, especially comparative; STEM engagement, especially in informal STEM learning institutions
Hawkins, Mary Beth
Physiology and Behavior
Johnstone, William Miller N/A
Physiology and Behavior
Marsden, Kurt
Neuroscience, Behavior, Cell and developmental biology
Meitzen, John
Neuroscience, Neuroendocrinology, Electrophysiology
Paciulli, Lisa
Primatology, Behavior, Conservation
Patisaul, Heather
Neuroscience, Behavior, Neuroendocrinology, Endocrine disruption
Planchart, Antonio
Physiology and behavior, Toxicology
Roberts, Reade
Genomic basis of adaptation
Schweitzer, Mary Paleobiology
Smith, Adrian
Animal behavior, Communication
Walker, Christopher
Anatomy, Biological anthropology