Melinda Fowler | Springfield College

Melinda Fowler

Melinda Fowler

Associate Professor of Biology

Contact Info


Melinda Fowler head shot
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of California, Santa Cruz, Calif., 2012
  • Master of Science, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, Calif., 2006
  • Bachelor of Science, Southampton College of Long Island University, Southampton, N.Y., 2003

Melinda Fowler is a field biologist interested in physiological adaptations in marine mammals and birds. She is interested in how animals manage to accomplish feats, such as extended fasting or migration.

Looking for an opportunity to explore a different climate and culture where you’ll collect data in an internationally renowned ecologically diverse location? The International Tropical Field Research (BIOL 320) class is perfect for you.

Learn more!

Research Interests
  • Physiological ecology
  • Investigations of fuel metabolism in fasting marine mammals
  • Physiological costs of reproduction in birds
  • Foraging and social behavior in seals, sea lions, and birds
Courses Taught
  • Bioscience
  • Animal Biology
  • Evolution
  • Senior Seminar in Biology
  • International Tropical Field Research

Selected Works


  • Invited Speaker, Union College, Introduction to Environmental Studies Course, ‘Marine Animal Research’ May 2021
  • Ecological Society of America. Online Conference. Poster Presentation: ‘The influence of retrieval practice and interleaving on an introductory natural science course’. Co-presenter Justin Compton. August 2020.
  • World Marine Mammal Conference, Barcelona, Spain. Poster Presentation ‘Insulin and blubber deposition in rehabilitating harbor seal pups (Phoca vitulina)’. December 2019
  • Invited speaker, Springfield College Social Justice Summer Academy. ‘Where my girls at? Pursuing a career in the sciences’. Springfield, MA, June 2017.
  • Invited speaker, Journal of Experimental Biology Symposium on The Biology of Fat. ‘Adiposity and fat metabolism during combined fasting and lactation in elephant seals.’ Steyning, UK. March 2017.
  • San Jose Mercury; 'Exciting' find on seals. published Jan 2016
  • Santa Cruz Sentinal; Scientists study fat burn in elephant seals at Año Nuevo State Park, published Jan 2016. 
  • Invited speaker, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey, BC. ‘From Seals to Songbirds: Comparative Metabolic Physiology’. July 2014.
  • Les Ecologiste Seminar Series invited presentation, Simon Fraser University. Oral presentation: ‘From Seals to Songbirds: A Story of Comparative Physiology’. October 2013.


  • Fowler, M., Sirpenski, G., and Romano, T.A. (2020) Insulin and Blubber Deposition in Rehabilitating Harbor Seal Pups (Phoca vitulina). Aquatic Mammals. 46(3), 243-253, DOI 10.1578/AM.46.3.2020.243
  • Fowler, M; Cohen, A; Legault, V Paquet, M; Williams, TD. (2018) Physiological predictors of reproductive performance in the European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris). Frontiers in Zoology. 15:45.
  • Fowler, M; Champagne, CD; Crocker, DE. (2018) Adiposity and fat metabolism during combined fasting and lactation in elephant seals. Invited review. Journal of Experimental Biology, 221:1-10. doi:10.1242/jeb.161554
  • Fowler, M and Williams, TD. (2017) A physiological signature of ‘cost of reproduction’ associated with parental care. American Naturalist, 190 (6): 762-773.
  • Fowler, M; Debier, C; Champagne, CD, Crocker, DE, Costa, DP. (2016) The demands of lactation promote differential regulation of lipid stores in fasting elephant seals. General and Comparative Endocrinology. 225:125-132.
  • Fowler, M; Williams, TD. (2015) Individual variability in parental workload and breeding productivity: is the payoff worth it? Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. 5(17): 3583-3599. doi:10.1002/ece3.1625
  • Fowler, M; Kraemer, R; Shen, W-J; Crocker, DE, Costa, DP (2015) Hormone sensitive lipase and adipose triglyceride lipase in fasting and lactating northern elephant seals. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology. 88(3):284-294. doi: 10.1086/680079.
  • Williams, TD, Fowler, M. (2015) Individual variation in workload during parental care: can we detect a physiological signature of quality or cost of reproduction? Journal of Ornithology.1:11.doi: 10.1007/s10336-015-1213-6.
  • Williams, TD; Bourgeon, S; Cornell, A; Ferguson, L; Fowler, M, Fronstin, RB; Love, OP. (2014) Mid-winter temperatures, not spring temperatures, predicts breeding phenology in the European starling Sturnus vulgaris. Royal Society Open Science. 2(140301)
  • Crocker, DE; Champagne, CD; Fowler, MA; Houser, DS. (2014) Adiposity and fat metabolism in lactating and fasting northern elephant seals. Advances in Nutrition. 5:57-64.