Matthews Lab

Comparative Respiratory Physiology

Welcome to the Matthews Lab! Our lab is part of the Comparative Physiology group in the Department of Zoology at UBC. We have a broad interest in the gas exchange strategies used by insects (and some plants). Our goal is to understand how respiratory/gas exchange systems are adapted to function in different environments.


We use many experimental techniques to understand how both terrestrial and aquatic insects obtain sufficient O2 from their environment and how they regulate CO2 excretion and internal pH. This involves looking at the morphology of their gas exchange system, how the nervous system regulates gas exchange, and how this influences the acid-base balance of their haemolymph. Details of our current research projects, publications, and the people working in the lab, can be found on this website.


If you are interested in undertaking an MSc or PhD on insect respiratory physiology, or a related field, please go to the prospective students page. Happy browsing!



Matthews Lab News:

August 20th 2018 - MSc student Daniel Lee had his paper "Changes in hemolymph total CO2 content during the water-to-air respiratory transition of amphibiotic dragonflies" featured in the Journal of Experimental Biology (and on the cover)

July 18th 2017 - Anna Robertson successfully defended her MSc thesis " Fluorescent implantable elastomer tags for the measurement of oxygen in insects". Congratulations Anna!

July 6th 2017 - Congratulations to Anna Robertson for winning the Irene Manton Poster Prize at the Society for Experimental Biology Meeting in Gothenburg!

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