Till Harter

Post-doctoral Researcher | tharter@ucsd.edu

Dr. Till Harter is originally from Germany, where he completed a BSc in Agricultural Sciences
at Hohenheim University. He obtained an MSc in Aquaculture and Fisheries at Wageningen
University in The Netherlands and at Ghent University in Belgium, where he worked on fresh
water fish osmoregulation. This work sparked in him an interest in the field of comparative
physiology, which led to a move to Vancouver, where he completed his PhD with Colin Brauner
at UBC in 2018. During his PhD, Till studied the cardio-respiratory system of bony fishes and
how these animals can modulate the oxygen binding characteristics of their pH-sensitive
hemoglobin to increase cardiovascular oxygen transport. While whole animal work is still at the
core of Till’s research interests, after his PhD, he decided to broaden his expertise and study the
molecular pathways that allow animals to modulate oxygen transport in vivo.
Till joined the Tresguerres lab as a post-doctoral fellow in January 2019, where he is funded by
an NSF grant. The focus of his work is on the role of putative, cellular acid-base (e.g. sAC) and
oxygen sensing molecules in regulating hemoglobin function by actively adjusting the red blood
cell intracellular environment. Hemoglobin is perhaps the most extensively studied protein today
and critically important for vertebrate life as we know it. However, in lower vertebrates, and
especially fishes, recent work has unveiled novel cellular pathways that may actively regulate
hemoglobin function in vivo. If substantiated more broadly, these pathways may change our
understanding of how vertebrates transport oxygen in their blood, from the environment to their

Selected Publications:

  • Harter, T. S., Sackville, M. A., Wilson, J. M., Metzger, D. C. H., Egginton, S., Esbaugh, A. J., Farrell, A. P. and Brauner, C. J. (2018). A solution to Nature’s haemoglobin knockout: a plasma-accessible carbonic anhydrase catalyses CO2 excretion in Antarctic icefish gills. J. Exp. Biol. 221.Harter, T. S., May, A. G., Federspiel, W. J., Supuran, C. T. and Brauner, C. J. (2018). The time-course of red blood cell intracellular pH recovery following short-circuiting in relation to venous transit times in rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss. Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol. DOI 10.1152/ajpregu.00062.2018.

    Harter, T. S., Brauner, C. J. and Matthews, P. G. (2017). A novel technique for the precise measurement of CO2 production rate in small aquatic organisms as validated on aeshnid dragonfly nymphs. J. Exp. Biol. 220, 964-968.

    Harter, T. S. and Brauner, C. J. (2017). The O2 and CO2 transport system in teleosts and the specialized mechanisms that enhance Hb-O2 unloading to tissues. In Fish Physiology, vol. 36B: The Cardiovascular System: Morphology, Control and Function (eds. A. K. Gamperl T. E. Gillis A. P. Farrell and C. J. Brauner), pp. 1-107. New York: Academic Press.