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Elizabeth Whitchurch, Ph.D.
Humboldt State University
Arcata, CA 95521

Liz earned a B.S. in Chemistry/Biochemistry at Utah State University (1998) and a Ph.D. in Biology at the University of Oregon (2006). As a doctoral student, she examined audiovisual integration in the barn owl head saccade behavior, and she measured single cell responses to visual and auditory stimuli in the optic tectum and external nucleus of the inferior colliculus of anesthetized barn owls. From 2007-2010, Liz stayed on at the University of Oregon as an adjunct instructor (BIO 353 - Sensory Physiology) and as a postdoctoral researcher. Her research time was split between the labs of Terry Takahashi and Bill Roberts. As a postdoc in the Takahashi Lab, Liz mentored various undergraduate researchers on projects ranging from human psychophysics to barn owl awake-behaving tetrode measurements. Her project in the Roberts Lab involved confocal imaging and scanning electron microscopy of the frog saccule, looking for morphologically and physiologically distinct subpopulations of hair cells in this peripheral auditory end-organ. Liz was a Sisneros Lab member from 2010-2012 and is currently a Special Programs Coordinator at Humboldt State University.

Research Interests
- Seasonal and steroid-dependent effects on the auditory sensitivity and hair cell density in the saccule of the midshipman fish (Porichthys notatus).

- Swim bladder sexual dimorphism in the plainfin midshipman fish

- Seasonal and hormone dependent gene expression in the midshipman inner ear.


Mohr RA, Whitchurch EA, Anderson RD, Forlano PM, Fay RR, Ketten DR, Cox TC, and JA Sisneros. 2017. Intra- and Intersexual swim bladder dimorphisms in the plainfin midshipman (Porichthys notatus): implications of swim bladder proximity to the inner ear for sound pressure detection. Journal of Morphology 278: 1458-1468.

Bhandiwad AA, Whitchurch EA, Colleye O, Zeddies DG, and JA Sisneros. 2017. Seasonal plasticity of auditory saccular sensitivity in "sneaker" type II male plainfin midshipman fish, Porichthys notatus. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 203:211-222.

Faber-Hammond J, Samanta MP, Whitchurch EA, Manning D, Sisneros JA, and AB Coffin. 2015. Saccular transcriptome profiles of the seasonal breeding plainfin midshipman fish (Porichthys notatus), a teleost with divergent sexual phenotypes. Public Library of Science One 10(11):e0142814.

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