James W. Hicks, Ph.D.


I believe that it is important to articulate the power of comparative and evolutionary physiology and to point out that these approaches are not mutually exclusive to biomedical sciences. Comparative and evolutionary physiology, at its most basic level, seeks to discover how animals work, and, most importantly, why animals work the way they do. These two seemingly straightforward questions have far-reaching implications and require a variety of investigative approaches. The comparative physiologist is challenged to determine the details of physiological mechanisms while simultaneously gaining insights into ultimate causation, i.e. the evolutionary or adaptive significance of a physiological process or trait. This manifold focus on proximal mechanism and ultimate causality requires that comparative and evolutionary physiologists bring to their investigations a diversity of analytical approaches and to effectively integrate molecular, cellular, organismal, morphological, biomechanical, biophysical, ecological and evolutionary information.



Director-Center for Exercise Medicine and Sport Sciences

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

School of Biological Sciences


B.A. (Biology), California State University, Fullerton, CA, 1977.

M.S. (Biology), University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 1979.

Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences/Physiology), School of Medicine, Univ of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 1984.

Post Doctoral Fellow, Abteilung Physiologie, Max Planck Institute fur Experimentelle Medizin, Gottingen, Germany 1984-1985

Post Doctoral Fellow, Physiological Research Lab, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD, 1986-1987


Morris F. Miller Faculty Development Award, Health Futures Foundation, 1988

Young Investigator Award, School of Medicine, Creighton University, 1991

Excellence in Teaching, School of Biological Sciences, UCI 1999-2000

Editor-in-Chief (2001-2009), Physiological and Biochemical Zoology

Chair, Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology Section, American Physiological Society (2004-2007)

Council Member, American Physiological Society (2007--2009)

Chair-Elect, Division of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry, Society for Integtrative and Comparative Biology (2010--2012)

Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science AAAS-Elected, November, 2008

August Krogh Distinguished Lectureship, American Physiological Society, April 2012

Honorary Doctorate (Doctor Scientiarum Honorais Causa, dr.scient.h.c.)- University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark--Sept 2012

Fellow of the American Physiological Society-2015

Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences--2019


e-mail: jhicks@uci.edu

office phone: (949) 824-6386


Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology