Richard Marsh

Richard MarshProfessor
Biology of the Muscles and Locomotion

Department of Biology
Northeastern University
461 Richards Hall
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115 USA
617.373.3495
r.marsh@neu.edu

Academic Education

  • Ph.D., Zoology, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • A.B, Biology, Hiram College, Hiram, OH

Appointments

  • Professor, Northeastern University, Boston, MA (1995-Present)
  • Member of the Editorial Board, Physiological Zoology (1996-2005)
  • Associate Professor, Northeastern University, Boston, MA (1988-1995)
  • Assistant Professor, Northeastern University, Boston, MA (1982-1988)
  • Lecturer, University of California, Irvine (1980-1982)
  • Postdoctoral Scholar, University of California, Irvine (1980-1982)
  • Postdoctoral Scholar, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1979-1980)
  • Lecturer, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1978)
  • Research Assistant, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1976-1979)
  • Teaching Assistant, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1973-1975)
  • Biology Teacher, The Hawken School, Gates Mills, OH (1970-1972)
  • Teaching Associate, Hiram College, Hiram, OH (1968-1970)

Research Interests

My major research interest is the in vivo function of skeletal muscle during movement. More specifically my current research investigates the mechanical function of skeletal muscle in vivo and the links between mechanical function and energy use. I use an integrative approach that combines organismal measures of energetics, kinematics, and kinetics with more invasive procedures that monitor in vivo the length, activity, and energy use of individual muscles in freely moving animals. His current research focuses primarily on walking and running, but past work has included studies of swimming, flying, and jumping. Major equipment items in my laboratory include a digital high-speed video system, a small-animal force plate, respirometry equipment, a 14-channel electromyography system, and a multichannel sonomicrometer system. Experiments have been conducted with numerous species of animals, and work has begun on human subjects.

Teaching Activities

My current teaching focuses on a general course in Animal Physiology and an advanced course on the Biology of Muscle and Movement. In the Animal physiology course I cover many of the major systems of the body thoroughly, including organismal metabolism and temperature regulation, skeletal muscle, respiration, circulation, and salt and water balance. Essential information on transport and neural communication is covered but in less detail. A major focus in developing this class has been making the laboratory experience reflect modern techniques in animals and human physiology. Students perform measurements, synthesize group data, and gain experience in writing in the format of a scientific report. The Biology of Muscle Class covers current literature on the function of muscle from the level of the cross-bridge to the integrated function of muscle during movement. This class covers topics in enough detail that the students gain an understanding of recent progress in the field. The emphasis is on integrating function across levels of organization.

Publications