Dr Ann Parkinson

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Dr Ann Parkinson

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Teaching areas

  • Physiology and Anatomy 1 and 2
  • Pathophysiology
  • Cell Biology
  • Human Functioning

Research areas

  • skinned skeletal muscle fibre contractile properties
  • crustacean muscle stretch receptor function
  • proprioception
  • jellyfish envenomation

Profile

Dr Ann Parkinson has a background in teaching and research in both animal and human physiology and is currently teaching physiology to Science and Nursing students. Her Bachelor of Science (Honours) research project at the University of New England in Armidale, NSW, was the "Erythrocyte metabolism in marsupials and monotremes". This entailed a study of enzymes and metabolism associated with the glycolytic pathways in the red blood cells of some 13 Australian native animals.

Dr Parkinson then moved to Sydney to commence doctoral studies in neurobiology/muscle physiology in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of New South Wales. This study, "An investigation of the morphology and contractile properties of the muscle fibres of a decapod crustacean proprioceptor, the thoracic coxal muscle receptor organ" included the study of muscle and nerve physiology and the anatomy of several crustacean muscle stretch receptors. These stretch receptors, termed TCMROs, are analogous to the muscle spindles found in mammalian muscle, and as such provide a simple working model.

Her current research has extended into the biochemical and molecular properties of the intrafusal muscle fibres of the TCMRO and crustacean skeletal muscle. Dr Parkinson also moved into a new area of research investigating the mechanisms of jellyfish envenomation. This involves collaborative research into jellyfish toxins from tropical and subtropical jellyfish.

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