Dr. Lene Petersen

Lene Petersen

Instructional Assistant Professor

+1 (409) 740-4786
+1 (409) 740-5001 Fax

Bld# 3029, Office 241

Research Interests

Main research focus is to understand effects of environmental (temperature, hypoxia) and anthropogenic (pharmaceuticals, contaminants) stressors on fish cardiovascular, respiratory and reproductive physiology.  Effects of short and long-term stressors (individual or multiple) are studied at all levels of biological organization (molecular, cellular, organ and whole-organism), and developmental stages (early life stage to adult).

More recently, Dr. Petersen’s research interests have expanded to conservation physiology. Non-invasive endocrinology techniques (saliva, skin and claw clippings, feces/urine) are used to assess levels of glucocorticoid and reproductive hormones (e.g. corticosterone, testosterone) in wild and captive (zoos/aquaria) animals.  Current model organism is the American alligator.


B.S. (Biology). Institute of Biology, University of Southern Denmark. Denmark (1997).
M.S. (Biology/Physiology). Institute of Biology, University of Southern Denmark. Denmark (2001).
Ph.D. (Biology/Fish Physiology). Department of Biology, Ocean Sciences Centre, Memorial University of Newfoundland. Canada (2010).

Courses Taught

Pathology of Marine Animals (MARB 437)
Fish Physiology (MARB 335)
Animal Behavior (MARB 410)

Recent Publications

Hala, D., Petersen, L.H., Martinović, D. and Huggett, D.B. (2015). In Silico analysis of perturbed Steroidogenesis and gonad growth in fathead minnows (P. promelas) exposed to 17α ethynylestradiol. Syst. Biol. Reprod. Med. 61: 122-138.

Petersen, L.H. Burleson, M.L and Huggett, D.B. (2015). Temperature and species-specific effects on B3-adrenergic receptor cardiac regulation in two freshwater teleosts: channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) and common carp (Cyprinus carpio).  Comp. Biochem. Physiol. A 185: 132-141.

Petersen, L.H., Hala D., Carty D., Cantu M. and Huggett D.B. (2015). Effects of Progesterone and Norethindrone on Female Fathead Minnow (Pimephales promelas) Steroidogenesis.  Environ. Toxicol.Chem. 34:379-390.

Petersen, L.H., Needham, S.L., Burleson, M.L., Overturf, M.D. and Huggett, D.B. (2013). Involvement of β3-adrenergic receptors in in vivo cardiovascular function in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Comp. Biochem. Physiol. A. 164: 291-300.

Lurman, J.G., Petersen, L.H. and Gamperl, A.K. (2012). Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) in situ cardiac performance at cold temperatures: long-term acclimation, acute thermal challenge and the role of adrenaline. J. Exp. Biol. 215: 4006-4014.

Petersen, L.H., King, M.K., Paulos, P., La Point, T. and Thompson, R. (2012). Environmental Science. Laboratory and field activities. Kendall Hunt Publishing. Dubuque, IW, USA.

Hala, D.N., Petersen, L.H., Martinovic, D., Huggett, D.B. (2012). Constraints-based stoichiometric analysis of hypoxic stress on steroidogenesis in fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas). J. Exp. Biol. 215: 1753-1765.

Hala, D.N., Overturf, M.D., Petersen, L.H., Huggett, D.B. (2011). Quantification of 2 Hydrazinopyridine derivatized steroid hormones in fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) blood plasma using LC ESI+/MS/MS. J. Chrom. B. 879: 591-598.

Petersen, L.H. and Gamperl, A.K. (2011). Cod (Gadus morhua) cardiorespiratory physiology and hypoxia following acclimation to low-oxygen conditions. Physiol. Biochem. Zool. 84: 18-31.

Petersen, LH., Dzialowski, E. and Huggett, D.B. (2011). The interactive effects of a gradual temperature decrease and long-term food deprivation on cardiac and hepatic blood flow in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Comp. Biochem. Physiol. A. 160: 311-319.