Alexander R. Gerson, Ph.D.

Integrative Environmental Physiology

Avian Migration Physiology, Avian Heat Tolerance, Animal Energetics




McKecknie, A.E., Whitfield, M.C, Smit, B., Gerson, A.R., Smith, E.K., Talkbot, W.A., McWhorter, T.J., Wolf, B.O.  (2016).  Avian Thermoregulation in the heat: efficient evaporative cooling allows for extreme heat tolerance in four southern hemisphere columbids.  Journal of Experimental Biology.  In Press.


Seewagen, C.L., Cristol, D.A., Gerson, A.R. (2016).  Mobilization of mercury from lean tissues during simulated migratory fasting in a model songbird. Nature Scientific Reports. 6, 25762.


McKecknie, A.E., Smit, B., Whitfield, M.C., Noakes, M.J., Talbot, W.A., Garcia, M., Gerson, A.R., Wolf, B.O.  (2016).  Avian thermoregulation in the heat: evaporative cooling capacity in an archetypal desert specialist, Burchell’s sandgrouse (Pterocles burchelli). Journal of Experimental Biology. In press.


Smith, E.K., O’Neill, J., Gerson, A.R., Wolf, B.O. (2015). Avian thermoregulation in the heat: resting metabolism, evaporative cooling, and heat tolerance in Sonoran Desert doves and quail.  Journal of Experimental Biology. 218, pp3636-3646.


Gerson, A.R., Smith, E.K., Smit, B., McKechnie, A.E., Wolf, B.O. (2014). The impact of humidity on evaporative cooling in small desert birds exposed to high air temperatures.  Physiological and Biochemical Zoology. 87, pp782-795. PDF


Hall, Z.J, Bauchinger, U., Gerson, A.R., Price, E.R., Langlois, L.A., Boyles, M., Pierce, B., McWilliams, S.R., Sherry, D.F., MacDougall-Shackleton, S.A. (2014). Site-specific regulation of adult neurogenesis by dietary fatty acid content, vitamin E and flight exercise in European starlings. European Journal of Neuroscience. 39, pp875-882. PDF


Gerson, A.R. and Guglielmo, C.G. (2013). Measurement of glomerular filtration rate during flight in a migratory bird using a single bolus injection of FITC-inulin.  American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology. 305, pp F823-F829.


Gerson, A.R. and Guglielmo, C.G. (2013). Energetics and metabolite profiles during early flight in American robins (Turdus migratorius). Journal of Comparative Physiology – B. 183, pp. 983-991. PDF


Nebel, S., Bauchinger, U., Buehler, D.M., Langlois, L.A., Boyles, M., Gerson, A.R., Price, E.R., McWilliams, S.R., Guglielmo, C.G. (2012). Constitutive immune function in European starlings Sturnus vulgaris decreased immediately after an endurance flight in a wind tunnel. Journal of Experimental Biology. 215, pp. 272-278.  PDF


Gerson, A.R., Guglielmo, C.G. (2011). Flight at low ambient humidity increases protein catabolism in migratory birds. Science. 333, pp. 1434-1436. (Link)


Guglielmo, C.G., McGuire, L.P., Gerson, A.R., Seewagen, C.L. (2011). Rapid, Non-invasive measurement of fat, lean, and total body water masses of live birds using quantitative magnetic resonance. Journal of Ornithology. 152, pp. S75-S85. PDF


Price, E.R., Bauchinger, U., Zajac, D.M., Cerasale, D.J., McFarlan, J.T., Gerson, A.R., McWilliams, S.R., Guglielmo, C.G. (2011). Migration and exercise-induced changes to flight muscle size in migratory birds and association with IGF-1 and myostatin mRNA expression. Journal of Experimental Biology. 214, pp. 2823-2831. PDF


Gerson, A.R., Guglielmo, C.G. (2011). House sparrows (Passer domesticus) increase protein catabolism in response to water restriction. American Journal of Physiology:  Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. 300, pp. R925-R930. PDF


Gerson, A.R., Brown, J.C.L., Thomas, R., Bernards, M.A., Staples, J.F. (2008). Effects of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids on mitochondrial metabolism in mammalian hibernation.  Journal of Experimental Biology. 211, pp. 2689-2699.  PDF


Staples, J. F., Gerson, A. R. and Brown, J. (2008). Mitochondrial respiration and proton leak in hibernation and daily torpor. In Hypometabolism in animals: torpor, hibernation and cryobiology.  eds. B. G. Lovegrove and A. E. McKechnie. Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal. PDF


Brown, J. C. L., Gerson, A. R. and Staples, J. F. (2007). Mitochondrial metabolism during daily torpor in the dwarf Siberian hamster: the role of active regulated changes and passive thermal effects. American Journal of Physiology:  Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. 293: pp. R1833-R1845. PDF


Gerson, D. F., M. L. Bontius, M. A., Wojtyk, J. F., Lee, J. J., Johnson, D. C,. Lee, R. Kahn, and A. R. Gerson (2001).  Measuring Bioreactor Mixing with Mixmeter.  Genetic Engineering News, 21: pp. 68-69.


Alexander R. Gerson


Department of Biology

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Amherst, MA 01003