Unit's name.

Meet the Researchers

Principal Investigators, Co-Investigators, Student Researchers

Principal Investigators



Dave Garshelis, Ph.D.

Bear Project Leader, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology

Dave Garshelis' research during the past decade involves bears and sea otters, although his interests are not limited to these species. He is broadly interested in developing methods for monitoring population status (size, trends, limiting factors), implementing such monitoring programs, and utilizing results to develop management or conservation strategies. As a research biologist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Dave has been able to directly apply the population monitoring approaches for black bears that were developed through his research, and then utilize the results to effect appropriate management strategies.


Henry "Hank" Harlow, Ph.D.

Researcher, University of Wyoming

Henry "Hank" Harlow is a zoology and physiology professor at the University of Wyoming. Dr. Harlow’s research emphasis is on the physiological adaptations of animals living in stressful environments and the health of animals experiencing various states of hypothermia. These research interests have included studies on Komodo dragons in Indonesia, hibernating black bears in the near arctic and now, polar bears that may be expressing a form of “walking hibernation” during summer ice free months in the Arctic.


Paul Iaizzo, Ph.D.

Professor of Surgery, Integrative Biology and Physiology, and the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota; Associate Director, Institute for Engineering in Medicine; Distinguished University Teaching Professor; Medtronic Professor of Visible Heart® Research; Director for Education, Lillehei Heart Institute; Director, Malignant Hyperthermia Muscle Biopsy Center

Paul Iaizzo's primary research focus is translational systems physiology, and his research group has developed a unique isolated working large mammalian heart model. The Visible Heart Laboratory is well known for its novel imaging techniques of cardiac anatomy and physiology, and is an ideal place to perform translational systems physiology research. Other research interests include cardiac pacing, skeletal muscle pathophysiology, thermoregulation, black bear hibernation, wound healing, and spine biomechanics. Paul has authored more than 180 original articles, edited 4 books, and holds multiple patents (both U.S. and European) related to cardiac anatomy, physiology, and devices.

Tim Laske Picture

Tim Laske, Ph.D.

Vice President of Product Development, Medtronic AF Solutions; Adjunct Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Minnesota

Tim Laske is responsible for Research and Development for current and future heart valve repair and replacement products. His previous roles at Medtronic Inc. include Senior Program Director for Transcatheter Valves, Technology Director for Therapy Delivery in Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management, and technology management and design engineering positions in Tachyarrhythmia Lead Development. Prior to Medtronic, Tim worked as a Design Engineer at Ford Motor Company in Crash Safety and Advanced Vehicle Systems Engineering.


Karen Noyce, M.S.

Wildlife Research Biologist, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Karen Noyce has always liked animals, camping, and hiking. She went to college and earned a master's degree in zoology to prepare for her work with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Karen belongs to a team that studies bears to learn about their habits and to find out how many live in Minnesota. Their studies help the DNR decide how many people should get permits to hunt bears each year.




Tinen Iles bio

Tinen Iles, B.S.

Assistant Scientist, Visible Heart Laboratory, University of Minnesota

Tinen assists with animal protocols and bear field studies. Additionally, she developed and maintains this website on Minnesota black bear research.




Student Researchers

Mark Ditmer

Mark Ditmer is a Ph.D. graduate student in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at the University of Minnesota, where he is advised by Dr. David Garshelis and Dr. Thomas Burk. His research focuses on the ecology and behavior of American black bears living in Northwestern Minnesota. He is also involved in sea turtle research in the Caribbean.

Stephen Howard, B.A.

Stephen Howard is a 5th year Ph.D. graduate student in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Minnesota under the direction of Dr. Paul Iaizzo. He has assisted with the bear project for about 5 years, and his primary involvement has involved collecting and analyzing ECG and ultrasound data from hibernating bears. In addition, he has also investigated the water loss of the bears during hibernation. 




© 2017 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy Statement