Dr. Harrisons 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 the current research projects in his lab address the following questions:
- How is the structure and function of the tracheal system of insects regulated to produce varied performance, within and across species?
- What neurohormonal systems control flight behavior and metabolism in flying beetles?
- What signaling pathways cause insects to have varied body size in response to changes in atmospheric oxygen level?
- Were the giant insects of the Paleozoic made possible by an elevation in atmospheric oxygen?
- How does colony size affect the metabolism and behavior of ants?
- How does plant quality and insect population density interact to control polymorphisms in grasshoppers related to migration?