Matthew Birk



My primary research interests are in teuthology: the scientific study of cephalopods.  I apply an integrative approach to my research that incorporates biochemistry, physiology, behavior, and ecology to gain a holistic understanding of these taxa and their role in marine ecosystems.

In my doctoral research, I use a comparative approach to understand how anticipated ocean acidification/warming conditions will affect squid metabolism. Specifically, I am testing the effects of hypercapnia (high CO2) and increased temperature on an organismal scale (via hypoxia tolerance and critical swim speed) and a cellular scale (via metabolic enzyme activities, metabolite concentrations, and molecular stress responses) in both Atlantic and Pacific squids. In addition, I am assessing the metabolic costs associated with chromatophore expression in a variety of cephalopod taxa.