Douglas Syme, MSc, PhD

PhD in biological sciences / animal physiology University of California, Irvine / USA

Douglas Syme

Areas of Research

Comparative muscle physiology
My interests lie in comparative muscle physiology, animal locomotion, and comparative cardiovascular physiology. Muscles come in many designs and are used in diverse fashions. Most vertebrates and many invertebrates possess different cell types within a single muscle, ranging from those that shorten very fast to very slow, and having varying degrees of fatigueability, preferred energy substrate, twitch speed, power output, etc. It is believed this blend allows a single muscle to perform in different ways depending on the task at hand. We study the mechanical performance of muscle, how designs at the cellular level translate into performance, and how the structures through which muscles transmit energy (e.g. tendons) impact the ability of muscles to do work and ultimately produce movement. Current projects include: how stretch of muscle impacts subsequent contractions, force production and work output; how various types of contractions impact the energy used by muscles and subsequently the efficiency of muscle contraction; how muscles are recruited during swimming in fish to produce thrust and control movement; the effects of temperature on muscle contraction and control of movement; modeling and empirical studies of the effects of tendon compliance on muscle performance, effects of temperature and oxygen levels of contractile capacity and efficiency of fish hearts, particularly how warm temperatures may limit the distribution of species such as Salmon and Char. We have ongoing collaborative projects in areas of tuna and shark muscle physiology, swimming biomechanics and cardiovascular function in fishes with national and international collaborators.

Supervising degrees

Biological Sciences - Doctoral: Unavailable
Biological Sciences - Masters: Unavailable

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