- Areas of Study
- About A&S
- Faculty & Staff
- Cultural Initiatives
- Research Initiatives
- Biology Major
- Molecular and Integrative Biology
- Pre-Health Sci. Emphasis
- Fisheries and Wildlife Biology
- Teacher Certification
- Minor in Biology
- Jay Boulanger
- Jeffrey Carmichael
- Brian Darby
- Diane Darland
- Tristan Darland
- Susan Ellis-Felege
- Chris Felege
- Brett Goodwin
- Steve Kelsch
- Peter Meberg
- Robert Newman
- Igor Ovtchinnikov
- Steven Ralph
- Turk Rhen
- Isaac Schlosser
- William Sheridan
- Rebecca Simmons
- Vasyl Tkach
- Jefferson Vaughan
- Kathryn Yurkonis
Starcher Hall Room 307
Office Tel: 701.777.4667
B.S. 1991, University of North Dakota
M.S. 1993, University of North Dakota
Ph.D. 2000, University of Texas-Austin
Postdoctoral Fellow 2000-2003, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Gene Regulatory Networks in Development Course, Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory,Woods Hole, MA, October 2010.
I am an integrative biologist, with interests that span molecular biology to ecology and evolution. I am best known for my work on temperature-dependent sex determination (or TSD for short). My research has contributed significantly to our understanding of the mechanistic basis and the adaptive significance of this unusual mode of sex determination. My lab has developed the common snapping turtle as a model to study both unique and conserved aspects of gender determination. The overarching hypothesis of my current NSF grant is that temperature-dependent changes in histone methylation play a key role in regulating transcriptional programs for testis versus ovary development. I am also fascinated by other differences between the sexes and every aspect of phenotypic plasticity. For instance, my lab is studying sexual differentiation of the hypothalamus and pituitary gland and the impact of atrazine (a commonly used herbicide) on these tissues in snapping turtles. In collaboration with Dane Crossley, I am also studying the impact of hypoxia on cardiovascular development of American alligators and snapping turtles. Another collaborative project with Robert Newman, Diane Darland, and Tristan Darland examines the impact of salinity on development of wood frog tadpoles.
"Epigenomic Analysis of Temperature-dependent Sex Determination", National Science Foundation, Division of Integrative Organismal Systems Award 1558034, 2016-2019 ($819,835).
"Genomic and Genetic Analysis of Temperature-dependent Sex Determination", National Science Foundation, Division of Integrative Organismal Systems Award 0923300, 2009-2013 ($467,847).
"Acquisition of a Liquid Handling Robot and a High-throughput Real-time PCR Thermocycler for Genetics and Genomics Research at UND", National Science Foundation, Division of Biological Infrastructure Award 0959369, 2010-2012 ($397,727).
Russart Gruchalla, K., and T. Rhen. 2016. Effects of atrazine on expression of reproductive and stress genes in the developing hypothalamus of the snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina. In revision for Toxicology.
Connahs, H., T. Rhen, and R.B. Simmons. 2016. Phenotypic plasticity reveals modularity of eyespot development in the painted lady butterfly, Vanessa cardui. In revision for PLOS One.
Tate, K.B, T. Rhen, J. Eme, Z.F. Kohl, J. Crossley, R. Elsey, and D.A. Crossley II. 2016. Periods of cardiovascular developmental susceptibility to hypoxia in embryonic American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology in press.
Schroeder, A.L., K.J., Metzger, A. Miller, and T. Rhen. 2016. A novel candidate gene for temperature-dependent sex determination in the common snapping turtle. Genetics in press.
Connahs, H., T. Rhen, and R.B. Simmons. 2016. Transcriptome analysis of the gene regulatory network underlying wing development and pigmentation in the painted lady butterfly, Vanessa cardui. BMC Genomics 17:270.
Wearing, O.H., J. Eme, T. Rhen, and D.A. Crossley II. 2016. Phenotypic plasticity in the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina): long-term physiological effects of chronic hypoxia during embryonic development. American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 310:R176-184.
Claycombe, K., E. Vomhof-DeKrey, J. Roemmich, T. Rhen, and O. Ghribi. 2015. Maternal low protein diet causes body weight loss in male, neonate Sprague-Dawley rats involving UCP-1 mediated thermogenesis. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 26:729-735.
Rhen, T., R. Fagerlie, A. Schroeder, D.A. Crossley II, and J.W. Lang. 2015. Molecular and morphological differentiation of testes and ovaries in relation to the thermosensitive period of gonad development in the snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentiana. Differentiation 89:31-41.
Tate, K., Z.F. Kohl, J. Eme, T. Rhen, and D.A. Crossley II. 2015. Critical windows of cardiovascular susceptibility to developmental hypoxia in common snapping turtle embryos. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 88:103-115.
Eme, J., T. Rhen, and D.A. Crossley II. 2014. Adjustments in cholinergic, adrenergic and purinergic control of cardiovascular function in snapping turtle embryos (Chelydra serpentina) incubated in chronic hypoxia. Journal of Comparative Physiology B 184:891-902.
Eme, J., T. Rhen, K.B. Tate, K. Gruchalla, Z.F. Kohl, C.E. Slay, and D.A. Crossley II. 2013. Plasticity of cardiovascular function in snapping turtle embryos (Chelydra serpentina): Chronic hypoxia alters autonomic regulation and gene expression. American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 304:R966-R979.
Alvine, T., T. Rhen, and D.A. Crossley II. 2013. Temperature-dependent sex determination modulates cardiovascular maturation in embryonic snapping turtles, Chelydra serpentina. Journal of Experimental Biology 216:751-758.
Marwarha, G., T. Rhen, T. Schommer, and O. Ghribi. 2011. The oxysterol 27-hydroxycholesterol regulates a-synucein and tyrosine hydroxylase expression levels in human neuroblastoma cells through modulation of liver X receptors and estrogen receptors-relevance to Parkinson’s disease. Journal of Neurochemistry 119:1119-1136.
Rhen, T., A. Schroeder, J.T. Sakata, V. Huang, and D. Crews. 2011. Segregating variation for temperature-dependent sex determination in a lizard. Heredity 106:649-660.
Rhen, T. and A. Schroeder. 2010. Molecular mechanisms of sex determination in reptiles. Sexual Development 4:16-28.