The Department of Biology welcomes Dr. Todd Backes and the Exercise Science Program

ToddThe Exercise Science program, home to 124 students, has moved from the Department of Sport
Management and Exercise Science to the Department of Biology.   Housing the major within a traditional science department brings added strength to the scientific basis of the curriculum. This will benefit all Exercise Science students and will be particularly important for those wishing to pursue graduate level studies. The Biology Department currently houses a certified health science program and enrolls many pre-health students. As Exercise Science is related to health studies; entering a department that has provided a great deal of education and service to pre-health students will also be of benefit to students majoring in Exercise Science.


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.

Page modified 10/2/13