|California biologist set to deliver George C. Wheeler lectures|
James Hicks, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Irvine, will be the biology fall 2008 George C. Wheeler Distinguished Lecturer.
Hicks will deliver two presentations, the first of which, "Wall-E and the Professor: The Effects of Space Physiology and Form," will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, in the Memorial Union Lecture Bowl. Another presentation, titled "Turning Crocodiles into Birds: Lessons from Altering Cardiac Anatomy," is set for noon Friday, Nov. 21, in 141 Starcher Hall.
Hicks has been a full professor within the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, at UC Irvine for more than 10 years. He has a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Fullerton, a master’s degree from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, and a Ph. D., from the University of New Mexico, School of Medicine at Albuquerque. He has worked at various places throughout the world, including Denmark, Brazil, and Germany. His research has been featured on the Discovery Channel, National Geographic News, and the New York Times. He has completed more than 85 publications and has given numerous presentations throughout the world.
Hicks is a broadly trained, integrative physiologist. His research efforts are divided among five areas: understanding the mechanism(s), regulation and functional significance of cardiac shunting in turtles, snakes, lizards and crocodilians; investigating the factors that determine and regulate the cardiopulmonary response to elevated metabolism in vertebrates, investigating the ontogeny of cardiovascular regulation, studying acclimatization to hypoxia and investigating the effects of gravity on the vertebrate cardiovascular system. Dr. Hicks research focuses on vertebrates and spans several groups, including amphibians, reptiles and humans. His laboratory provides a unique evolutionary perspective into circulation and respiration and seeks to discover not only differences among organisms, but the unifying principles shared by diverse organisms.
The lectures are sponsored by the Department of Biology. They are free and open to the public.