Comparative physiology and functional morphology; exercise physiology & psychology
I was originally trained as a comparative physiologist and functional morphologist, but since coming to Iowa, I have become increasingly focused on human exercise. I am interested in how people feel when they exercise, and why they feel that way. In particular, I study how the environment in which people exercise, and the intensity and quality of exercise, affect feelings of tension/relaxation, pleasure/displeasure, and self-efficacy. Recently my student, Kelsey Holkesvik, and I have been looking at how body image and salivary cortisol levels in middle-school-aged girls are affected by exercising either in an outdoor environment, where there are few opportunities to compare themselves with others, or in an indoor environment, such as a fitness center where there are other bodies and mirrors. Another student, Alex Reich, is exploring what cross-country runners tend to think about, and how they feel, when they run on a trail outdoors or indoors on a treadmill in a fitness center. My other interests include how people value nature, the role the environment plays in feelings of well-being and health, and issues of water quality and land use.