The Debt We Owe to Per Scholander

Last full day of the conference. This morning I will take in Global Change and the Emerging Threat of Dead Zones: Can Individuals, Populations, Species and Communities Respond to Increasing Hypoxic Oceans? (Altieri). Also interested in The Physiology of Trace Metal Homeostasis and Toxicity (Grosell). Oral abstracts begin after lunch and poster sessions start late afternoon.
i-cd41cd87993b450dc98407fb21be901e-per scholander.jpg Best of all, tonight is the Awards Banquet. Of the three awards that I’m aware of, my favorite is the Comparative Physiology Section Scholander Award, the most prestigious young investigator award presented by APS in the field of comparative physiology. Oral presentations were yesterday and the winner gets the Award certificate, cash prize, copy of the Per (Peter) Scholander (1905-1980) biography, Enjoying a Life in Science and other stuff. I remember when I was a young researcher, just starting out. It was overwhelming but exhilarating at the same time. A big shout out of congratulations to all of this year’s applicants and a tip of the hat to the winner. If you or the APS will send me your photo and a quick summary of what your research was about, I will post it on the Comparative Physiology blog. May the curious class rule!

A quick reminder for those of you who don’t quite remember who Per Scholander was. He was a Norwegian-born physician with a doctorate in botany. His research career brought him to Harvard Medical School and Woods Hole before he headed up the Physiological Research Lab at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. “His field observations of marine mammals led directly to innovative laboratory studies of the diving physiology of seals and marine birds,” according to a bio in the 2009 Laurence Irving – Per Scholander Memorial Lecture Series booklet. Perry Barboza is the Committee Chair for this Series and does a great job. If you get a chance, listen to Perry explain how a reindeer’s physiology allows survival under frigid winters with so little food. His podcast interview with the APS is at http://media.libsyn.com/media/lifelines/aps_0004b_barboza.mp3 or read the press release at http://the-aps.org/press/journal/07/61.htm.

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