Staff profile

Staff image

Prof John Donald

Position: Deputy Head Of School
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Sci Eng & Built Env
Department: School of Life & Env. Sciences
Campus: Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus
Phone: +61 3 522 72097 +61 3 522 72097



I did my PhD in the Department of Zoology at the The University of Melbourne and then spent nearly eight years working in the Department of Zoology at the University of Florida.  I returned to Australia in 1994 to take up an ARC Australian Research Fellowship at Deakin University.  In 1997 I was appointed as a lecturer at Deakin University.


  • Bachelor of Science, University of Melbourne, 1980
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Melbourne, 1987


Member Australian Physiological Society


Research interests

My research program is broadly in the area of comparative animal physiology.  The research focusses on cardiovascular regulation, osmoregulation, and more recently, the control of appetite and energy balance, and uses a diverse range of animal models.  The primary theme is to reveal the physiological control systems in animals from diverse environments in order to understand how they evolved and contribute to the maintenance of homeostasis.  The research uses a range of animal models from fish to mammals, and a suite of molecular, cellular and physiological techniques, which permits an integrated analysis from gene to function.  The outputs from my research are published primarily in the leading animal physiology, endocrinology and molecular journals.  Currently, my research program has three major directions that have led to local and international collaborations.  These are i) the evolution of natriuretic peptide systems in vertebrates; ii) nitric oxide control systems in vertebrates; and iii) the control of water balance in desert rodents.



Selected publications

Lillywhite HB and Donald JA (1989) Pulmonary blood flow regulation in an aquatic snake. Science 245:293-295

Toop T and Donald JA (2004) Comparative aspects of natriuretic peptide physiology in non-mammalian vertebrates: a review.  Journal of Comparative Physiology (B), 174:189-204.

Takei Y, Bartolo RC, Fujihara H, Ueta Y, Donald JA (2012) Water deprivation induces appetite and alters metabolic strategy in Notomys alexis: unique mechanisms for water production in the desert.  Proceedings B Biological Science 279(1738):2599-2608.

Broughton BRS and Donald JA (2002) Nitric oxide regulation of the central vasculature of the toad, Bufo marinus, occurs independently of the endothelium.  Journal of Experimental Biology 205:3093-3100.

Trajanovska S and Donald JA (2011) Endothelial nitric oxide synthase in the amphibian, Xenopus tropicalis.  Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 158(4):274-281.

Donald JA, Toop T and Evans DH (1994) Localisation and analysis of natriuretic peptide receptors in the gills of the gulf toadfish, Opsanus beta (Teleostei).  American Journal of Physiology, Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology 267:R1437-R1444.

vii) Donald JA, Vomachka AJ and Evans DH (1992) Immunohistochemical localisation of natriuretic peptides in the heart and brain of the spiny dogfish, Squalus acanthias, and the Atlantic hagfish, Myxine glutinosa.  Cell and Tissue Research 270:535-545.

Lillywhite HB and Donald JA (1994) Neural regulation of arterial blood pressure in snakes. Physiological Zoology (now called Physiological Biochemistry and Zoology) 67:1260-1283.

Trajanovska S and Donald JA (2008) Molecular cloning of cardiac natriuretic peptides from the heart of reptiles: Loss of ANP in diapsid reptiles and birds.  General and Comparative Endocrinology, 156:339-346.

Donald JA (1998) Autonomic Nerve Function.  In: Physiology of Fishes; Evans DH (ed) second edition CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp. 407-439.

Donald JA and Toop T (2006) Natriuretic peptide system of fish: structure, evolution and function.  Fish Endocrinology (Reinecke M et al., eds), Science Publishers, pp 443-484.

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