Comparative physiology

Special Interest

Comparative physiology is a curiosity-driven discipline that seeks to understand “How Animals Function”, and represents an interface between biology and classic human-oriented physiology.

Objectives and Vision

In addition to unravelling unique adaptations that enable animals to thrive in the various and often hostile environments on Earth, comparative physiology also offers insight to untraditional animal models that may provide a novel perspective on human disease. For example, how can turtles survives for months without oxygen and why do naked mole rats never get cancer despite of being one of the longest-lived mammals of its size? Given the current treats to biodiversity and the concerns of our own long-term survival on Earth, comparative physiology also offers a mechanistic insight to the influence of climate change on animal distribution and the influence of human encroachment. Finally, there is a growing realisation that evolution should be incorporated in the understanding of human diseases and evolutionary comparative physiology offers the framework to understand how anatomy and physiology has evolved by means of natural selection.

Position in Nordic Physiology

Comparative physiology has an extraordinary prominent tradition in Scandinavia with outstanding researchers including August Krogh, Per Scholander, Knut Schmidt-Nielsen and Kjell Johansen, and the SIG for comparative physiology thrive to keep that proud tradition vibrant.

Steering Group

The SIG for Comparative Physiology is convened by:

  • Tobias Wang, section for zoophysiology, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Svante Winberg, Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala University, Sweden
  • Sjannie Lefevre, Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo, Norway


Please send an email to Sjannie Lefevre ( to be included on our email list where we communicate all SIG activities.