Faculty of Biological Sciences

Life at the Extremes

Life at the Extremes: Human Physiology

Humans are capable of incredible feats of endurance and can tolerate physical stress. Our bodies may experience environmental extremes including desert hot and arctic cold temperatures, high and low ambient pressures; g-forces at high speed and zero-gravity in space. It may have to cope with other types of physical extremes including training to be an Olympic tri-athlete & morbid obesity and starvation. But how are we able to adapt and survive in completely alien environments and cope with such physical challenges?

The aim of this web resource is to introduce, explore and explain the physiological basis of ‘life at the extremes’. It is aimed at demonstrating how by studying integrative human physiology, we can understand better the human body and the roots of our survival. The resource covers a unique mixture of plenary lectures to inspire the study of human physiology, delivered by those who have either ‘been there’ or are recognized experts in specific areas of extreme physiology. The material in this resource are videos of lectures that have taken place at the University of Leeds as part of a level 1 module called 'Life at the Extremes'. To our knowledge, no equivalent resource currently exists. It is aimed at the interested individual and does not necessarily require any specific scientific knowledge.

Conducting research in the Antarctic

On April 2nd, Professor Stuart Egginton and a group of international researchers travelled to the Antarctic Peninsula as part of a three-year investigation of the icefish – one of nature’s great curiosities.

Get involved with our latest expeditition to the Antarctic by following Stuart's interactive blog, now live.