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About Dr. Mark Gunderson



Animal Physiology, Reproduction, Endocrinology, Environmental Physiology  

Personal Statement

Professor Gunderson has worked at The College of Idaho since 2007. He teaches Animal Physiology,  Biology of Reproduction, Organismal Biology, and leads off-campus trips to Florida, Australia, the Oregon Coast, and throughout southwestern Idaho. His research interests relate to studying the impacts of environmental contaminants on normal physiology using principles based in reproductive biology, pharmacology, ecology, wildlife biology, biochemistry and other related fields. Dr. Gunderson’s research program at the College of Idaho focuses on investigating the roles and modes of action that trace environmental contaminants play in altering normal cellular and physiological functions related to the endocrine system. There are currently 4 projects underway in his laboratory that use in vitro and organismal models to examine the interactions of various compounds present in the environment with hormone signaling, hepatic detoxification, and other physiological processes.  Dr. Gunderson has authored/co-authored 25 publications in peer reviewed journals, 1 book chapter, 16 published abstracts and 79 presentations at undergraduate, regional or national conferences.

What Dr. Gunderson appreciates most about life at The College of Idaho is the sense of community, opportunities to explore new ideas, and working with enthusiastic students in the classroom, lab and field.

Professional Experience

The College of Idaho, Chair of the Department of Biology (2015-present)

The College of Idaho INBRE Administrative Coordinator (2010- present)

The College of Idaho, Associate Professor of Biology (2013-present)

The College of Idaho, Assistant Professor of Biology (2007-2013)

Post Doctoral Fellow (2005 – 2007): University of Victoria, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Victoria BC Canada



  • Ph.D. (2005): University of Florida, Department of Zoology - Gainesville FL.
  • BA: St. Olaf College (1995) - Northfield, MN


  Gunderson, M.P., Pickett, M.A., Martin, J.T., Hulse, E.J., Smith, S.S., Smith, L.A., Campbell, R.M., Lowers, R.H., Boggs, A.S.P., Guillette, L.J. Jr. 2016.  Variations in hepatic biomarkers in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from three sites in Florida, USA. Chemosphere 155: 180-187.  
  Gunderson M.P., Veldhoen N., Skirrow, R.C., Macnab, M.K., Ding, W., vanAggelen, G., Helbing, C.C. 2011.   Effect of low dose exposure to the herbicide atrazine and its metabolite on cytochrome P450 aromatase and steroidogenic factor-1 mRNA levels in the brain of premetamorphic bullfrog tadpoles (Rana catesbeiana) Aquatic Toxicology 102: 31-38.
  Helbing, C. C., Maher, S. K., Han, J., Gunderson, M.P., Borchers, C.  2010. Peering into molecular mechanisms of action with frogSCOPE. General and Comparative Endocrinology 168(2):190-8.
  Helbing C.C., Bailey C.M., Ji L., Gunderson M.P., Zhang F., Veldhoen N., Skirrow R.C., Mu R., Lesperance M., Holcombe G.W., Kosian P.A., Tietge J., Korte J.J., Degitz S.J.  2007.  Identification of gene expression indicators for thyroid axis disruption in a Xenopus laevis metamorphosis screening assay. Part 1. Effects on the brain.  Aquatic Toxicology 82 (4): 227-241.
  Veldhoen, N., Skirrow, R.C., Osachoff, H., Wigmore, H., Clapson, D.J., Gunderson, M.P., van Aggelen, G., and Helbing, C.C. 2006.  The bactericidal agent triclosan modulates thyroid hormone-associated gene expression and disrupts postembryonic anuran development.  Aquatic Toxicology 80: 217-227.
  Gunderson, M.P., Kohno, S., Blumberg, B., Iguchi, T., and Guillette, L.J. Jr. 2006. Up-regulation of the alligator CYP3A77 gene by toxaphene and dexamethasone and its short term effect on plasma testosterone concentrations. Aquatic Toxicology 78: 272-283.
  Milnes, M.R., Bermudez, D.S., Bryan T.A., Edwards, T.M., Gunderson, M.P., Larkin, I. L.V., Moore, B.C., and Louis J. Guilette Jr. 2005.  Contaminant-induced feminization and demasculinization of nonmammalian vertebrate males in aquatic environments.  Environmental Research 100: 3-17.
  Milnes, M.R., Bryan, T.A., Medina Gates, J., Gunderson, M.P., and Guillette, L.J. Jr. 2005.  Developmental alterations as a result of in ovo exposure to the pesticide metabolite p,p’-DDE in Alligator mississippiensis.  General and Comparative Endocrinology 144: 257-263.
  Milnes, M. R., Bermudez D.S., Bryan, T.A., Gunderson, M.P., and Guilette, L.J. Jr. 2005.  Altered neonatal development and endocrine function in Alligator mississippiensis associated with a contaminated environment.  Biology of Reproduction 73: 1004-1010.
  Bermudez, Dieldrich S., Milnes, M.R., Bryan, T.A., Gunderson, M.P., Tubbs, C., Woodward, A.R., and Guillette, L.J. Jr. 2005.  Seasonal variation in plasma thyroxine concentrations in juvenile alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from three Florida lakes.  Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology part A 141: 8-14.
Gunderson,M.P., Oberdörster, E., and Guillette. L.J. Jr. 2004.  EROD, MROD, and GST activities in juvenile alligators collected from 3 sites in the Kissimmee-Everglades drainage, Florida (USA).  Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part C 139: 39-46.
  Katsu, Y, Bermudez, D.S., Braun, E., Helbing, C., Miyagawa, S., Gunderson, M.P., Kohno, S., Bryan, T.A., Guillette, L.J. Jr., and Iguchi,T. 2004. Molecular cloning of the estrogen and progesterone receptors of the American alligator.  General and Comparative Endocrinology 136:122-133.
  Gunderson, M.P.,Bermudez, D.S.,Bryan, T.A., Degala, S.,Edwards, T.M.,Kools,S.A.E., Milnes, M.R., Woodward, A.R., and Guillette, L.J. Jr. 2004. Variation in sex steroids and phallus size in juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) collected from 3 sites within the Kissimmee-Everglades drainage in Florida (USA).  Chemosphere 56: 335-345.
  Edwards, T. M., Gunderson M.P., and Guillette, L.J. Jr. 2003.  Gonadotropin-induced testosterone response in peripubertal male alligators.  General and Comparative Endocrinology 135(3): 372-380.
  Gunderson, M.P., Kools, S. A. E., Milnes, M. R. and Guillette, L. J. Jr. 2003. Effect of acute stress on plasma b-corticosterone, estradiol-17b, and testosterone concentrations in juvenile American alligators collected from 3 sites within the Kissimmee-Everglades Drainage. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C, 135(3): 365-374.
  Gunderson, M.P., Breza, T.S. Jr., and Guillette, L.J. Jr.2003. Screening for xenoestrogen-induced vitellogenin in juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades. Environmental Science 10: 193-204.
  Hewitt, E.A., Crain, D.A., Gunderson, M.P., and Guillette, L.J. Jr. 2002.  A histological analysis of thyroid glands in juvenile alligators (Alligator mississipiensis) from contaminated and reference sites on Lake Okeechobee, Florida, USA. Chemosphere 47: 1129-1135.
  Gunderson, M.P., Bermudez, D.S., Bryan, T.A., Crain, D.A., Degala, S., Edwards, T.M., Kools, S.A.E., Milnes, M.R., and Guillette, L.J. Jr. 2002. Temporal and spatial variation in plasma thyroxine (T4) concentrations in juvenile alligators collected from Lake Okeechobee and the northern Everglades.  Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 21: 914-921.
  Guillette, L.J. Jr. and Gunderson, M.P. 2001. Alterations in the development of the reproductive and endocrine systems of wildlife exposed to endocrine disrupting contaminants.  Reproduction 202: 857-864.
  Gunderson, M.P., LeBlanc, G.A., and Guillette, L.J. Jr. 2001.  Alterations in sexually dimorphic biotransformation of testosterone in juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from contaminated lakes. Environmental Health Perspectives 109 (12): 1257-1264.
  Guillette, L.J., Jr., Crain, D.A., Gunderson, M.P., Kools, S., Milnes, M.R., Orlando, E.F., Rooney, A.A., and Woodward, A.R. 2000.  Alligators and endocrine disrupting contaminants: A current perspective.  American Zoologist 40: 438-452.
  Evans, D.H. and M.P. Gunderson. 1999.  Characterization of an endothelin ETB receptor in the gill of the dogfish shark, Squalus acanthias.  The Journal of Experimental Biology 202(24): 3605-3610.
  Evans, D.H. and Gunderson, M.P. 1998. Functional Characterization of a Muscarinic Receptor in the Smooth Muscle of the Shark (Squalus acanthias) Ventral Aorta. Experimental Biology On Line 3: 3 (ISSN 1430-3418)
  Evans, D.H and Gunderson, M. 1998.  A prostaglandin, not nitric oxide, mediates endothelium dependendent dilation in the ventral aorta of the shark, Squalus acanthias.  American Journal of Physiology 274: R1050-1057.
  Evans, D. H., Gunderson, M.P., and Cagelis, C. 1996.  ETB-Type receptors mediate endothelin-stimulated contraction in the aortic vascular smooth muscle of the spiny dog fish shark, Squalus acanthias. Journal of Comparative Physiology 165(8): 659-664.