Fish physiologist, Dr. Andrew Esbaugh, with the University of Texas Marine Science Institute was recently awarded the runner up position for the 2017 President’s Medal competition from the Society for Experimental Biology in the animal biology section. This award recognizes excellent research contributions and commitment to the field of experimental biology. “The competition among the three finalists was extremely tight and this is an outstanding achievement given the number of high quality of applicants this year,” said Dr. Patrick Hussey, President of the Society for Experimental Biology in a letter to Dr. Esbaugh.
Dr. Esbaugh’s research combines whole animal physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology to investigate physiology mechanisms in fish, and the flexibility of physiological systems to respond to environmental change. Fish are an incredibly diverse group of animals that can be found in a wide array of aquatic habitats ranging from soft water low mountain streams to tropical hypersaline estuaries. Consequently fish have evolved a number of interesting physiological adaptations that allow them to survive in, and interact with, these environments. Currently Dr. Esbaugh’s work is focused on the evolution of respiratory gas transport in fish, impacts of ocean acidification in marine fish, mechanisms of osmoregulation and acid-base balance in estuarine bony fish, and the toxic effects and physiological implications of environmental pollutants.