Loren Buck, Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Alaska Anchorage, is a physiological ecologist interested in adaptations of animals to extreme and variable environments. The Arctic is an extreme environment, characterized by radical seasonal changes in temperature, day length and food availability, all of which have served to shape, through evolutionary change, the extreme physiology of its resident animals such that they not only survive but thrive.
The Arctic is also a changing environment. Over the past 50 years, the Arctic has warmed more rapidly than any other place on the planet and climate models predict further and accelerated warming over the decades to come. Using a combination of laboratory and field approaches, Loren's laboratory is currently investigating mechanisms, function and plasticity of biological rhythms in the arctic ground squirrel.