The Exercise Science program, home to 124 students, has moved from the Department
Dr. Todd Backes, Coordinator of Exercise Science, has also moved to the Biology Department and is an Assistant Professor of Biology. Dr. Backes performs research in the areas of hydration and drinking behavior and exercise performance as well as cognition and exercise. His primary research focus is evaluating hydration needs of exercising individuals. Dr. Backes’ hypotheses run counter to prevailing beliefs in hydration research and, in contrast, have an evolutionary basis. He has also been examining how acute bouts of physiological stress (exercise) alter working memory and executive functions. Other areas of investigation include how physiological stress results in small, transient changes in immune system function and how nutritional interventions may affect immune system response to exercise. He is also interested in the relationship between BMI (body mass index) and body composition. Most obesity research associates health complications with high BMI values. There is a minority view in obesity research that high BMI values may provide a health benefit provided the BMI value is achieved by increased skeletal muscle mass.