Theresa Dabruzzi

Assistant Professor


Biological Sciences


2013–2018     Ph.D., Animal Biology, University of California, Davis, California
2008–2013     Master of Science, University of West Florida, Pensacola, Florida    
2006–2008     Bachelor of Science, University of West Florida, Pensacola, Florida
2001–2006     Associate of Arts, St. Petersburg College, Tarpon Springs, Florida

As a comparative ecological physiologist my research program examines physiological adaptations of animal groups living in marginal environments that are exposed to extreme abiotic conditions. Many of these animals exist at conditions very near their lethal limits and are thought to be the most vulnerable to environmental disturbances and global changes. I have worked the last ten years conducting research within the Wakatobi Marine Preserve in the Banda Sea, southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia examining the physiological adaptations of animals living in some of the most extreme of habitats found anywhere on Earth. 
Working in Indonesia has allowed me to examine novel physiological traits of animal models, such as air-breathing fishes, salt-tolerant frogs, and amphibious sea kraits, most of which have been little studied. The goal of my research is to gain insight into adaptive physiological traits of animals by recognizing and describing how a trait works, and identifying the ecological and evolutionary pressures that have shaped adaptation in the group. The study of ecological physiology quantifies the limits of a given adaptation and can be used to develop conservation and management strategies in vulnerable areas.
Areas of Specialization 
·    Thermal ecology and physiology of amphibians, fishes, and reptiles 
·    Bioenergetics of animals living in extreme environments
·    Hypoxia physiology, oxygen uptake & transport in marine animals
·    Water balance and ion-osmo regulation of amphibious marine animals