Biology

Meet the Faculty

Dr. Benjamin Philip
Assistant Professor

Ph. D., Miami University
M.Sc., Eastern Michigan University
B.A., Miami University

Specialties
Anatomy and Physiology
Animal Physiology
Physiological Ecology

Background
As an undergraduate at Miami University, Dr. Philip was given the opportunity to conduct an independent project examining the role of exercise on biomarkers of health in rats.  This experience sparked his interest in research, so he decided to pursue a Master’s degree at Eastern Michigan University.  While there, the focus of Dr. Philip’s research shifted from exercise physiology of mammals to the behavior and energetics of tarantula spiders.  Upon completing this work, Dr. Philip returned to Miami University to begin his doctoral studies in the Laboratory for Ecophysiological Cryobiology.  There, his research focused on understanding how organisms deal with environmental challenges, especially in winter.  As a graduate student, Dr. Philip developed his passion for teaching through his experiences as an instructor in a range of courses, from Introductory Biology for non-majors to Anatomy and Physiology and Entomology.  Dr. Philip joined the faculty of Rivier in the fall of 2010.    

Research Interests
Dr. Philip's research interests fit into the broad scope of physiological responses of organisms to environmental stress. He is particularly intrigued by how organisms contend with the challenges of winter, especially the rare capacity of some frogs, turtles and insects to tolerate freezing.  This remarkable ability requires a suite of physiological adaptations to protect cells against freezing-induced damage, however much remains unknown about the mechanisms underlying this strategy of overwintering.  By studying these adaptations, we can not only understand how these organisms have solved the problems associated with freezing, but can also apply our knowledge to the challenges of clinical cryobiology.

Academic Philosophy
“I hope to communicate my excitement of biology to my students and provide them with their own opportunity to experience science at a meaningful level.  As a teacher and mentor, I am committed to providing my students with the tools required to understand and appreciate biology.  I strive to do all I can to enable every student to think like a scientist, whether that be as an informed citizen with a basic understanding of science or a future researcher who will devote his/her life to studying biology”.

Recent Publications 

Philip, B.N. and Y. Tomoyasu. 2010.  Gene knockdown analysis by double-stranded RNA injection in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum.  Methods in Molecular Biology: Molecular Methods for Evolutionary Genetics.  In press.

Philip, B.N. and R.E. Lee Jr.  2010.  Changes in abundance of aquaporin-like proteins occurs concomitantly with seasonal acquisition of freeze tolerance in the goldenrod gall fly, Eurosta solidaginis.  Journal of Insect Physiology. 56: 679-685.

Philip, B.N. and C. Shillington.  2010.  The effect of prey availability on metabolism and activity in the tarantula Phormictopus cancerides (Araneae: Theraphosidae).  Canadian Journal of Zoology. 88: 90-98.

Philip, B.N., S.-X. Yi, M.A. Elnitsky, and R.E. Lee Jr.  2008.  Aquaporins play a role in desiccation and freeze tolerance in larvae of the goldenrod gall fly, Eurosta solidaginis.  Journal of Experimental Biology. 211: 1114-1119.

Philip, B.N. and C. Shillington.  2007.  A novel technique of hair removal to examine the cuticle of arthropods.  Microscopy Today.  15(2): 22-25.

Alessio, H.M., A.E. Hagerman, S. Nagy, B.N. Philip, R.N. Byrnes, J.L. Woodward, P. Callahan, and R. Wiley.  2005. Exercise improves biomarkers of health and stress in animals fed ad libitum.  Physiology and Behavior.   84: 65-72

Schweitzer, N.B., H.M. Alessio,  A.E. Hagerman, S. Roy, C.K. Sen, S. Nagy, R.N. Byrnes, B.N. Philip, J.L. Woodward, and R.L. Wiley.  2005.  Access to exercise and its relation to cardiovascular health and gene expression in laboratory animals.  Life Sciences.  77(18): 2246-2261.
 

Location
Mendel Hall

For info, contact:
Dr. Joel Stake
Department Coordinator
Mendel Hall
(603) 897-8291
jstake@rivier.edu  

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