Elizabeth Whitchurch, PhD
Visiting Assistant Professor
Humboldt State University
Department of Biological Sciences
Arcata, CA 95521




Liz earned a BS in Chemistry/Biochemistry at Utah State University (1998) and a PhD in Biology at the University of Oregon (2006). As a doctoral student, she examined audiovisual integration in the barn owl head saccade behavior, and she measured single cell responses to visual and auditory stimuli in the optic tectum and external nucleus of the inferior colliculus of anesthetized barn owls. From 2007-2010, Liz stayed on at the University of Oregon as an adjunct instructor (BIO 353 - Sensory Physiology) and as a postdoctoral researcher. Her research time was split between the labs of Terry Takahashi and Bill Roberts. As a postdoc in the Takahashi Lab, Liz mentored various undergraduate researchers on projects ranging from human psychophysics to barn owl awake-behaving tetrode measurements. Her project in the Roberts Lab involved confocal imaging and scanning electron microscopy of the frog saccule, looking for morphologically and physiologically distinct subpopulations of hair cells in this peripheral auditory end-organ. Liz was a Sisneros Lab member from 2010-2012 and is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Humboldt State University in the Department of Biological Sciences.

Research Interests
- Seasonal and steroid-dependent effects on the auditory sensitivity and hair cell density in the saccule of the midshipman
fish (Porichthys notatus).

- Swim bladder sexual dimorphism in the plainfin midshipman fish

- Seasonal and hormone dependent gene expression in the midshipman inner ear.

Selected Publications
Takahashi TT, Keller CH, Nelson BS, Spitzer MW, Bala AD, and EA Whitchurch (2008) Object localization in cluttered acoustical environments. Biol Cybern 98:579-86.

Whitchurch EA and TT Takahashi. (2006) Combined auditory and visual stimuli facilitate head saccades in the barn owl (Tyto alba). J Neurophysiol. 96:730-45.


Last updated 9-17-12

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