Emeritus Professor of Integrative Biology, Ardath and Robert Rodale Prof. of Environmental Toxicology
College of Letters & Science l Department of Integrative Biology
Hometown: Madison, WI
Warren Porter has a deep Wisconsin heritage, since he was born in Madison two blocks from where he works. His parents came from Green Bay in the north and from a farm that had land bought from Daniel Webster before the Civil War, 20 miles southeast of Madison. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the UW Madison while playing tuba in the marching band for four years. His Masters and PhD were from UCLA, before he began a two-year postdoctoral fellowship with a physicist-turned-botanist at the Missouri Botanical Garden and Washington University in St. Louis. He then came back to Madison as a new assistant professor and has been here ever since–teaching, taking courses, and doing interdisciplinary research.
Warren Porter has developed and tested generic microclimate and animal computer models of climate effects on animal food and water requirements, behavior, distribution and habitat use in ancient, modern and future climates. They have computed milk production anywhere on Earth, evolutionary selection forces on dinosaurs and mosquito disease transmission.
For several decades Warren Porter has studied how off-the-shelf pesticides and other environmental chemicals impact neurological, endocrine, immune and epigenetic phenomena in animals and humans. This talk summarizes international peer-reviewed research literature and his own peer-reviewed research about the subtle but significant impacts on long-term health.
- We use state-of-the-art computer models we have developed for microclimates and cows to look at effects of latitude, body size, coat color, timing of calving, and many other interconnected variables to look at global constraints on capacity for milk production, food and water needs for dairy cows.
- We explore multiple subtle effects of pesticides at very low concentrations that impact health and development at multiple levels of biological organization from molecular to population dynamics.