Freeman Lab


Welcome to the Freeman Lab!

Dr. Freeman joined the Department of Biological Sciences in 2002.  In 2017 David was named Chair of the Department. He teaches Principles of Anatomy & Physiology (Biol 2020); Vertebrate Physiology (BIOL 3730); Neurobiology (Biol 4635/6635); Biological Clocks (Biol 7338/8338), and Topics in Physiology/Animal Behavior (Biol 7018/8018; 7019/8019). He also delivers lectures in team-taught General Biology II (BIOL 1120). His research group focuses on circadian and seasonal rhythms in mammals, including the characterization of neuroendocrine mechanisms mediating seasonal changes in physiology and behavior. We work to identify the neural circuits driving seasonal alterations in reproduction, immune function, metabolism, stress responsiveness, the gut microbiome, and aggressive behavior. A second major area of research is in characterizing the eusocial mating system in Damaraland mole-rats. These mole-rats are one of two mammalian species generally accepted as eusocial. They live in colonies of up to 40 individuals and each colony includes only a single breeding female and her male mate. Our research is aimed at identifying the neuroendocrine and behavioral mechanisms that evolved to subserve eusociality in mammals.


Research Interests

  • The role of photoperiod and melatonin in seasonal cycles of behavior and physiology
  • Characterizing neural targets mediating melatonin’s actions
  • Identifying neuroendocrine requirements in the expression of mating behavior in eusocial Damaraland mole-rats
  • Characterizing how the reproductive hierarchy is established and maintained within colonies of eusocial mole-rats



B.A. Conservation Biology, Kent State University; Ph.D. Physiology & Neurobiology, University of Connecticut; Post-Doctoral Fellow Psychology, University of California, Berkeley  

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