Physiology of diving

Our research deals with factors that determine the capacity of diving animals to store oxygen prior to a dive, and with how utilization of internal oxygen stores is controlled to meet the oxygen and energy requirements of different tissues, and of the animal as a whole during diving. We also aim to understand the mechanisms that enable neural tissue of divers to survive and maintain adequate functionality despite the severe lack of oxygen that they routinely experience towards the end of dives. This is of interest also from a clinical perspective, since understanding how evolution solved this problem may form the basis for improved therapies for patients who have suffered stroke or other illnesses that cause their neural tissue to be oxygen deprived. We use molecular analyses, immune histochemistry, biochemical analyses and electrophysiological methods to investigate these aspects, in collaboration with research groups at University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Hamburg, University of Chicago and University of Washington. Studies are also conducted on a completely different issue related to the aquatic lifestyle of some mammals, namely how marine mammals maintain water balance, given that they lead most of their lives without access to fresh water.

Contact persons: Lars Folkow, Erling S. Nordøy and Arnoldus S Blix.

The research groups new blog can be found here. The group is also on facebook.

Please also check out our new ASTI research initiative here.