My primary interests are vertebrate reproductive
biology, including comparative endocrinology and histology of reproductive
structures. Other research interests include the ecological consequences
of sperm competition, cell biology of spermatogenesis, and sperm motility.
I am also interested in the evolution, life history and ecology of vertebrates,
particularly ectotherms. My current research involves environmental contaminants
and their effects on reproductive development and endocrinology. Comparative
anatomy and histology of reproductive structures in vertebrates. Environmental
and physiological factors associated with seasonal reproduction, particularly,
influences of central nervous system and pituitary regulation of gonadal
activity. Spermatogenesis and the regulation of secondary sex structures
associated with sperm maintenance, viability and storage. Ecological consequences
of sperm competition. At Clemson University, I studied the potential effects
of environmental contaminants on reproductive structures in American alligators,
bobwhite quail, and deer mice. This research was an outgrowth of work with
alligators at Lake Apopka, a contaminated site in central Florida.
Some of my research techniques include histology
for light and electron microscopy, high-performance liquid chromatography,
electrophoresis and western blotting of proteins, and in vitro cell
culture. I utilise many histological techniques, including paraffin (rotary
microtome) and frozen (sliding microtome and cryostat) histology for light
microscopy, electron microscopy (transmission and scanning), immunohistochemical
localization within sectioned tissues; autoradiography, and morphometry.
Quantitative techniques I employ, include radioimmunoassay (RIA) of steroid
hormones and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) of biologically
active molecules from neural substrates. I am involved in protein identification
and characterization utilizing poly-acrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE)
and Western blotting techniques, in vitro cell culture and collection
of secreted products. I utilise computer-assisted analysis of video-micrographic
recordings, animal microsurgery techniques, photomicroscopy, and photographic
developing in many aspects of my research and teaching.
Summers, CH, WJ Korzan, JL Lukkes, MJ Watt, GL Forster, Ø Øverli, E Höglund, ET Larson, PJ Ronan, JM Matter, TR Summers, KJ Renner, and N Greenberg. 2005. Does serotonin influence aggression? Comparing regional activity before and during social interaction Physiol Biochem Zool 78: 679-694.
Summers, TR, JM Matter, JM McKay, PJ Ronan, ET Larson, KJ Renner and CH Summers. 2003. Rapid glucocorticoid stimulation and GABAergic inhibition of hippocampal serotonergic response: In vivo dialysis in the lizard Anolis carolinensis. Hormones & Behavior 43: 245-253.
Matter, JM, DA Crain, CS McMurry, DB Pickford,
TR Rainwater, KD Reynolds, AA Rooney, and LJ Guillette, Jr. 1998. Effects
of endocrine-disrupting contaminants in reptiles: alligators. pp 267-289
“Principles and Processes for Evaluating Endocrine Disruption in Wildlife”
(RJ Kendall, JP Giesy, RL Dickerson, and W Suk, eds.). SETAC Press, Pensacola,
Sheffield, SR, JM Matter, BA Rattner, and
PD Guiney. 1998. Fish and wildlife as sentinels of environmental endocrine
disruptors. pp 369-430 In: “Principles and Processes for Evaluating
Endocrine Disruption in Wildlife” (RJ Kendall, JP Giesy, RL Dickerson,
and W Suk, eds.). SETAC Press, Pensacola, FL.
Matter, JM, PJ Ronan, and CH Summers. 1998.
Central monoamines in free-ranging lizards: Differences associated with
social roles and territoriality. Brain, Behavior and Evolution 51:23-32.
Matter, JM, C Sills, AB Anthony, and RL
Dickerson. 1996. Development and implementation of endocrine biomarkers
of exposure and effects in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis).
Ronan, PJ, M Gaikowski, JM Matter, DO Norris,
and CH Summers. 1995. Changes in central biogenic amine production in response
to increased ammonia in Pimephales promelas. Society for Neuroscience
Guillette, LJ, AR Woodward, Q You-xiang, C Cox,
Matter, and TS Gross. 1995. Formation and regression of the corpus
luteum of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). Journal
of Morphology 224:97-110.
Guillette, LJ, TS Gross, GR Masson, JM Matter,
HF Percival, and AR Woodward. 1994. Developmental abnormalities of the
gonad and abnormal sex hormone concentrations in juvenile alligators from
contaminated and control lakes in Florida. Environmental Health Perspectives102:680-688.
Guillette, LJ, KA Bjorndal, AB Bolten, TS Gross,
BD Palmer, BE Witherington, and JM Matter. 1991. Plasma estradiol-17b,
progesterone, prostaglandin F2a,
and prostaglandin E2 concentrations during natural oviposition
in the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta). General and Comparative
Guillette, LJ, TS Gross, JM Matter, and
BD Palmer. 1990. Arginine vasotocin-induced prostaglandin synthesis in
vitro by the reproductive tract of the viviparous lizard Sceloporus
jarrovi. Prostaglandins 39:39-51.
Guillette, LJ, A Pfrimmer-Hensley, JM Matter,
and PH Jaffe. 1990. Indomethacin influences arginine vasotocin-induced
parturition and oviposition in lizards (Sceloporus undulatus and
jarrovi). Theriogenology 33:809-818.
I have served as an editorial reviewer for several
books, including Life: The Science of Biology (Purves et al., 1998,
5th edition) and Herpetology (Pough et al., 1997). I have been a
reviewer for several scientific journals, including Chemosphere,
and Comparative Endocrinology, Environmental Health Perspectives,
and Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.
Since coming to Juniata College, I have become
involved in many department and campus activities. I am currently serving
as the faculty advisor to the Lambda Epsilon chapter of Beta Beta Beta
(the Biological Honour Society).
I served on the local organising committee
for the 1999 meeting of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (ASIH), The
League, and the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR). These meetings were held at
Penn State University 24 through 30 June, and brought leading experts together for the purpose of discussing
their research on fishes, amphibians, and reptiles. As a result of my role
in SSAR activities during 1999, I was selected as Secretary for the Society. I am very honoured to have
been given this opportunity to serve the
professional herpetological community. The joint meeting for these same societies was held in La Paz, Baja California
Sur, Mexico 15-21 June 2000.