John A. Ruben
B.S., Humboldt State U (1968)
M.A. (1970), Ph.D. (1975), U California, Berkeley
My interests in zoology center on vertebrate paleobiology. My background encompasses a variety of disciplines, including physiology, morphology, and paleontology. I teach courses in Dinosaur Biology (Z 315), Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (Z 422/522), Vertebrate Physiology (respiratory and cardiovascular) (Z 432/532) and Environmental Physiology (Z423/523).
I work closely with my graduate students and maintain an active research program. Previous publications from my lab have dealt extensively the evolution of the vertebrate skeleton, specifically why vertebrates maintain a phosphatic, rather than an invertebrate-like calcitic skeleton. Currently, research in my lab focuses on a variety of intriguing problems associated with the evolution of endothermy, in birds, mammals and their ancestors. With a view toward providing broad new insight into questions such as when and why endothermy evolved, ongoing NSF-funded research in my laboratory ranges from CAT-scan analysis of 200 million year old fossil mammal-like reptile skulls to sophisticated analysis of songbird respiratory physiology. Presently, for example, my graduate students and I are close to resolving long-standing questions about the metabolic status of dinosaurs and early (Mesozoic Era) birds (for a popular account, see December,'96, Discovery Magazine: "A Cold, Hard Look at Dinosaurs," pps. 98-108.).
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