John D. Palmer

Emeritus Professor

Photograph of First Last

B.A., Lake Forest College, 1957
M.S., Northwestern University, 1959
Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1962


National Science Postdoctoral Fellow
1963-1964, University of Bristol, UK

Research Interests: 

Biological Rhythms in Intertidal Organisms

General lab interests are invertebrate development, behavior, and cyclic displays. For the last ten years our emphasis has been on the rhythms and living clocks of shore-dwelling animals, mainly crabs and pelecypods. The work is carried out in marine labs scattered around the world, especially the Portobello Lab in New Zealand. The Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, Massachusetts serves as home base. We are trying to decipher just what kind of horologue governs organismic rhythms that match the period of the tides. Using new ways to approach the problem we have described several heretofore unknown properties of tide-associated rhythms, and from these findings have produced a circalunidian-clock hypothesis that is now gaining favor.

Representative Publications: 

Palmer, J.D. 2002. The Living Clock, the Orchestrator of Biological Rhythms. Oxford University Press, New York.

Palmer, J.D. 2000. The clock controllig the tide-associated rhythms of intertidal animals. BioEssays, 22: 32-39.

Palmer, J.D. 1995. The Biological Rhythms and Clocks of Intertidal Animals. 217 pp. Oxford University Press, New York.

Palmer, J.D. 1995. A review of the dual-clock control of tidal rhythms and the hypothesis that the same clock governs both circatidal and circadian rhythms. Chronbiol. Int., 12: 299-310.