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david j.coughlin, phd, professor

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David J. Coughlin PhD


  • PhD Biology 1991

    Boston University (MA)

  • BIOL 303 Comparative Animal Physiology

  • BIOL 307 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy

  • BIOL 327 Functional Anatomy of Mammals

I examine muscle function during locomotion and feeding. Employing fish as model species, my students and I use integrated research approaches, from whole animal performance to tissue function to gene expression. Currently, my lab is focused on how a small, coastal fish, the rainbow smelt, is able to swim and feed during the extreme cold of the North Atlantic winter.

Selected Publications 

  • Woytanowski, J.R., & Coughlin, D.J. (2013). Thermal acclimation in rainbow smelt, Osmerus mordax, leads to faster myotomal muscle contractile properties and improved swimming performance. Biology Open, 2, 343–350.

  • Campion, L., Choi, S., Mistry, H.L., & Coughlin, D.J. (2012). Myosin heavy chain and parvalbumin expression in swimming and feeding muscles of Centrarchid fishes: The molecular basis of the scaling of contractile properties. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology PartA, 163, 223230.

  • Carroll, A.M., Ambrose, A.M., Anderson, T.A., and Coughlin, D.J. (2009). Feeding muscles scale differently from swimming muscles in sunfish (Centrarchidae). Biology Letters, 5, 274277.

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB), American Physiological Society (APS)