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Lawrence J. Myers, MS, DVM, PhD

Associate Professor of Animal Behavior and Sensory Physiology and Medicine, joined the College of Veterinary Medicine in 1982. He received his M.S. from Oklahoma State University in zoology with emphasis on animal behavior, his Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University in neurophysiology, and his D.V.M. from Mississippi State University.

Research Interests

He began research on detector dogs in 1982, developing new and rapid techniques to determine olfactory thresholds in the dog, as well as measures of visual and gustatory function. In 1989 he founded the Institute for Biological Detection Systems (IBDS) at Auburn. The three major prongs for the research program were: 1) detector dog-handler team programs- study, protection and improvement 2) study of basic sensory functions to feed information to #1 and to #3, and 3) development of artificial biosensor systems. Some of this and later work included study of odors, odor movement, and methods to deliver odors reliably and accurately. Of particular interest, 24 different disease conditions in the dog were found that cause loss of the sense of smell in the dog. In addition, he began training dogs to detect novel targets (estrus in cows termites, off-flavor chemicals), including determination of the odor signatures the dog used to recognize the targets.

Teaching Responsibilities:  Dr. Myers currently assists in teaching Veterinary Neuroscience and is the course coordinator for a course in Ethology for first year veterinary students In addition he sees clients for animal behavior problems in Birmingham and in Auburn. He is also active as an expert witness in legal cases in state, federal, and Supreme Court cases involving detector dog-handler teams.

Selected Publications

Myers LJ, Coulter DB. Vision. In: Dukes' Textbook of Animal Physiology, Reece, WO (ed.), Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, pp. 843-851, 2004.

Myers LJ, Coulter DB. Smell and taste. In: Dukes' Textbook of Animal Physiology, Reece, WO (ed.), Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, pp. 865-870, 2004.

Shelby RA, Schrader KK, Tucker A, Klesius PH, Myers LJ. Detection of catfish off-flavour compounds by trained dogs. Aquaculture Research 35:888-892, 2004.

Altom EK, Davenport GM, Myers LJ, Cummins KA. Effect of dietary fat source and exercise on odorant-detecting ability of canine athletes. Research in Veterinary Science 75:149-155, 2003.

Furton KG, Myers LJ. The scientific foundations and efficacy of the use of canines as chemical detectors for explosives. Talanta 54(3):487-500, 2001.

Myers LJ, Hanrahan LA, Swango LJ, Nusbaum KE. Anosmia associated with canine distemper. American Journal of Veterinary Research, 49:1295-1297, 1988.

Additional Links

Auburn University | College of Veterinary Medicine | Auburn, Alabama 36849 | (334) 844-4546
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