Dr. Harrison's research centers on the physiological mechanisms of insects in the context of environmental stress and evolutionary theory. His studies integrate field observations of insect ecology and behavior with laboratory studies of organismal and cellular physiology. Some of current research projects in the lab address the following questions: (1) How does variation in atmospheric oxygen level affect the control of growth and body size? (were the giant insects of the Paleozoic made possible by elevated oxygen levels?) (2) How does body size affect the structure and function of the insect respiratory system?, (3) How does grazing and nitrogen input to ecosystems affect herbivore structure, function and behavior? (4) How does colony size affect the energetics and behavior of ant colonies? (5) Can we improve the design of micro-medical devices by studying the mechanisms and control of fluid flow in insect tracheal and circulatory systems?
Ph.D., Environmental, Population and Organismic Biology, University of Colorado-Boulder, 1987
B.Sc., Biology, University of Toronto, 1978
Cease, A. J., J. J. Elser, C. F. Ford, S. Hao, L. Kang and J. F. Harrison. 2012. Heavy livestock grazing promotes locust outbreaks by lowering plant nitrogen content. Science 335(6067):467-469. DOI: 10.1126/science.1214433 . (link)
Cease, A. J., S. Hao, L. Kang, J. J. Elser and J. F. Harrison. 2010. Are color or high rearing density related to migratory polyphenism in the band-winged grasshopper, Oedaleus asiaticus?. Journal of Insect Physiology 56(8):926-936. DOI: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2010.05.020. (link)