Sylvain Giroud

Assistant Professor

Contact Information:

2114 Weston Hall
Office Phone: (906) 227-2145

Website: The Energetics Lab


  • 2022 – Habilitation, Animal Physiology, University of Vienna 
  • 2008 – PhD, Animal Ecological Physiology, University of Strasbourg
  • 2004 – MSc, Integrative Physiology in Extreme Environments, University of Lyon
  • 2003 – Graduate, Organismic and Cellular Physiology, University of Concordia
  • 2002 – BSc, Physiology and Cellular Biology, University of Grenoble

Research Interests:

My research focuses on the mechanisms enabling animal species to manage their energy balance and hence to cope with environmental fluctuations in an ecological and evolutionary context. A particular interest lies on how heterothermic endotherms especially hibernators respond to climate change and global warming. My research further contributes to environmental health issues through the development of a biomimicry approach.


  • BI 208 – Anatomy & Physiology II
  • BI 427 – Ecological Animal Physiology


  • Evans A.L, Fuchs B, Navinder J.S, Giroud S, Blanc S, Laske T.G, Frobert O, Friebe A,
    Swenson J.E, Arnemo J.M. Body mass determines hibernation length, body temperature,
    and heart rate in free-ranging brown bears. Frontiers in Zoology 20, 27, 2023.
  • Giroud S, Ragger M-T§, Baille B, Hoelzl F, Smith S, Nowack J, Ruf T. Food availability
    positively affects the survival and somatic maintenance of hibernating garden dormice
    (Eliomys quercinus). Frontiers in Zoology 20, 19, 2023.   
  • Strandvik B, Qureschi A.R, Painer J, Backman-Johansson C, Engvall M, Fröbert O,
    Stenwinkel P*, Giroud S*. Elevated plasma phospholipid docosapentaenoic acid
    concentrations during hibernation in garden dormice and brown bears. Accepted in PLoS One Jun 9;18(6):e0285782, 2023.
    *equally-contributed authors 
  • ​De Wit L, Hamberg M.R, Ross A.M, Goris M, Lie F.F, Giroud S, Henning R.H, Hut R.A.
    Temperature effects on DNA damage in hibernation. Physiological and Biochemical
    Zoology - Special theme issue: ‘Hibernation and Daily Torpor’ 96(2):144-152, 2023.
  • Charlanne L§, Vetter S, Einwaller J, Painer J, Gilbert C*, Giroud S*. ‚Sleeping together’:
    energetic consequences of huddling behavior in hibernating juvenile garden dormice
    (Eliomys quercinus). Physiological and Biochemical Zoology - Special theme issue:
    ‘Hibernation and Daily Torpor’ 95(5): 400-415, 2022. 
    *equally-contributed authors
  •  Ruf T, Giroud S, Geiser F. Hypothesis and Theory: A two-process model of torpor-
    arousal regulation in hibernators. Frontiers in Physiology - Special Topic ‘Biological
    rhythms: Evolution, Population Biology, and Adaptation’ 13:901270, 2022.
  • ​Giroud S, Habold C, Vetter S, Painer J, Four-Chaboussant A§, Smith S, Gilbert C. Living
    in a changing world: Physiological and behavioral flexibility of juvenile garden dormice.
    11th International Dormice Conference, Svilengrad, Bulgaria, May 9-13, 2022,
    Congress Abstract.
  • Thiel A, Giroud S, Hertel A.G, Friebe A, Devineau O, Fuchs B, Blanc S, Støen O.G,
    Laske T, Arnemo J.M, Evans A.L. Slowing the pace in winter: Seasonality of biological
    rhythms in Scandinavian brown bears. Frontiers in Physiology - Special Topic
    ‘Biological rhythms: Evolution, Population Biology, and Adaptation’ 13:785706, 2022.
  • Ruf T, Gasch K§, Stalder G, Gerritsmann H, Giroud S. An hourglass mechanism controls
    torpor bout length in hibernating garden dormice. Journal of Experimental Biology
    224(23):jeb243456, 2021.
  • Giroud S, Chery I, Arrivé M, Prost M, Zumsteg J, Heintz D, Evans A.L, Gauquelin-Koch
    G, Arnemo J.M, Swenson J.E, Lefai E, Bertile F, Simon C, Blanc S. Hibernating brown
    bears are protected against atherogenic dyslipidaemia. Scientific Reports 11:18723,
  • ​Haugg E, Borner J, Giroud S, Herwig A. Differential gene expression in the
    hypothalamus of hibernating garden dormice (Eliomys quercinus). 14th Meeting of the
    German Neuroscience Society, Virtual Conference, Göttingen, Germany, March 22-30,
    2021. Neuroforum (27), S T22-1, Congress Abstract, 2021 [ISSN: 2363-7013]
  • Huber N, Gerritsmann H, Stalder G, Giroud S. Shifts in immune cell function and
    composition in hibernating garden dormouse (Eliomys quercinus). Frontiers in
    Physiology - Special Topic ‘The Integrative Physiology of Metabolic Down-states’
    12:620614, 2021.
  • Bertile F, Habold C, Le Maho Y, Giroud S. Body protein sparing in hibernators: a source
    for biomedical innovation. Frontiers in Physiology - Special Topic ‘The Integrative Physiology of Metabolic Down-states’ 12:634953, 2021. 
  • Giroud S, Habold C, Nespolo R, Terrien J, Logan S, Henning R, Storey K. Torpor and
    hibernation: metabolic adaptations and protective mechanisms. Frontiers in Physiology
    – Special Topic ‘The Integrative Physiology of Metabolic Down-states’ 11:623665, 2020. 
  • ​Watts A.J, Logan S.M, Kübber-Heiss A, Posautz A, Stalder G, Painer J, Giroud S*,
    Storey K.B*. Regulation of peroxisomal lipid metabolism pathway during torpor in the
    garden dormouse, Eliomys quercinus. Frontiers in Physiology - Special Topic ‘The
    Integrative Physiology of Metabolic Down-states’ 11:615025, 2020.  *equally-contributed authors
  • ​Giroud S, Storey K, Nord A, Nowack J. Editorial of the Research Topic: Coping with
    Environmental Fluctuations - Ecological and Evolutionary Perspectives. Frontiers in
    Physiology - Special Topic ‘Coping with Environmental Fluctuations: Ecological and
    Evolutionary Perspectives’ 11:605186, 2020. 
  • Ebert T, Painer J, Bergman P, Qureshi A.R, Giroud S, Stalder G, Kublickiene K, Vetter S,
    Göritz F, Fröbert O, Arnemo J.M, Zedrosser A, Redtenbacher I, Johnson R, Shiels P.G,
    Stenvinkel P. Insights in the Regulation of TMAO Production Using a Comparative
    Biomimetic Approach:  Identification of a Metabolic Switch in Hibernating Bears.
    Scientific Reports 10:20323, 2020. 
  • Constant T, Giroud S, Viblanc V, Tissier M.L, Bergeron P, Dobson F.S, Habold C.
    Integrating extrinsic mortality risk in the adaptiveness of hibernation framework.
    Frontiers in Physiology - Special Topic ‘Coping with Environmental Fluctuations:
    Ecological and Evolutionary Perspectives’ 11: 706, 2020. 
  • Logan S.M, Watts A.J, Posautz A, Kübber-Heiss A, Painer J, Stalder G, Giroud S*,
    Storey K.B*. The ratio of linoleic and linolenic acid in the pre-hibernation diet influences
    NFκB signaling in garden dormice during torpor. Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences 7:
    97, 2020.  *equally-contributed authors
  • Nord A & Giroud S. Lifelong effects of thermal challenges during development in birds
    and mammals. Frontiers in Physiology - Special Topic ‘Coping with Environmental
    Fluctuations: Ecological and Evolutionary Perspectives’ 11: 419, 2020. 
  • Luu B.E, Lefai E, Giroud S, Swenson J.E, Chazarin B, Gauquelin-Koch G, Arnemo J.M,
    Evans A.L, Bertile F, Storey K.B. MicroRNAs facilitate skeletal muscle maintenance and
    metabolic suppression in hibernating brown bears. Journal of Cellular Physiology 1-10,
  • Nowack J, Tarmann I§, Hoelzl F, Smith S, Giroud S*, Ruf T*. Always a price to pay:
    hibernation at low temperatures comes with a trade-off between energy savings and
    cellular damage. Biology Letters 15: 20190466, 2019.  *equally-contributed authors
  • Giroud S, Chery I, Bertile F, Bertrand-Michel J, Tascher G, Gauquelin-Koch G, Arnemo
    J.M, Swenson J.E, Singh N.J, Lefai E, Evans A.L, Simon C, Blanc S. Lipidomics reveal
    seasonal shifts in a large-bodied hibernator, the brown bear. Frontiers in Physiology 10:
    389, 2019.
  • Giroud S, Evans A.L, Chery I, Bertile F, Tascher G, Bertrand-Michel J, Gauquelin-Koch
    G, Arnemo J.M, Swenson J.E, Lefai E, Blanc S, Simon C. Seasonal changes in
    eicosanoids metabolism in the brown bear. The Science of Nature 105(9-10), 2018.
  • Giroud S, Gerritsmann H, Stalder G, Anna Kübber-Heiss, Jae Kwak, Arnold W, Ruf T.
    Dietary lipids affect the onset of hibernation in the garden dormouse (Eliomys quercinus):
    Implications for cardiac function. Frontiers in Physiology 9: 1235, 2018. 
  • Mahlert B§, Gerritsmann H, Stalder G, Ruf T, Zahariev A, Blanc S, Giroud S. Being born
    late in the active season: implications for growth, pre-hibernation fattening, energetic
    strategies and reproductive success. eLife 7: e31225, 2018. 
  • Nowack J, Giroud S, Arnold W, Ruf T. Muscular non-shivering thermogenesis and its
    role in the evolution of endothermy. Frontiers in Physiology - Special Topic ‘The
    Evolution of Endothermy: From Patterns to Mechanisms’ 8: 889, 2017. 
  • Williams C.T, Klaassen M, Barnes B.M, Buck C.L, Arnold W, Giroud S, Vetter S, Ruf T.
    Seasonal reproductive tactics: Annual timing and the capital to income breeder
    continuum. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B - Special theme issue:
    ‘Wild Clocks: integrating chronobiology and ecology to understand timekeeping in free-
    living animals’ 372: 20160250, 2017. 
  • Bieber C, Cornils J.S, Hoelzl F, Giroud S, Ruf T. The costs of locomotor activity? -
    Maximum body temperatures and the use of torpor during the active season in edible
    dormice. Journal of Comparative Physiology B - Special theme issue: ‘Living in a
    Seasonal World’ 187 (5-6): 803-814, 2017. 
  • Stumpfel S§, Bieber C, Ruf T, Giroud S. Differences in growth rates and pre-hibernation
    body mass gain between early and late-born juvenile garden dormice. Journal of
    Comparative Physiology B 187(1): 253-263, 2017.  
  • Jastroch M*, Barrett P*, Geiser F*, Giroud S*, Heldmaier G*, Herwig A*. Seasonal
    control of energy balance: recent advances and current status. Journal of
    Neuroendocinology 28(11), 10.1111/jne.12437, 2016. 
    *equally-contributed authors 
  • Arnold W, Giroud S, Valencak T.G, Ruf T. Ecophysiology of omega fatty acids: a lid for
    each jar. Physiology 30(3): 232-240, 2015. 
  • Giroud S, Zahn S, Criscuolo F, Chery I, Blanc S, Turbill C, Ruf T. Late-born
    intermittently fasted juvenile garden dormice use torpor to grow and fatten during pre-
    hibernation: consequences for ageing processes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of
    London B 281 1797 20141131, 1471-2954, 2014. 
  • Giroud S, Frare C§, Strijkstra A, Boerema A, Arnold W, Ruf T. Membrane phospholipid
    fatty acid composition regulates cardiac SERCA activity in a hibernator, the Syrian
    hamster (Mesocricetus auratus). PLoS One 8(5): e63111, 2013. 
  • Gilbert C, McCafferty DJ, Giroud S, Ancel A, Blanc S. Private heat for public warmth:
    How huddling shapes individual thermogenic responses of rabbit pups. PLoS One 7(3):
  • ​Giroud S, Turbill C, Ruf T. Torpor use and body mass gain during pre-hibernation in late-
    born juvenile garden dormice exposed to food shortage. In: Ruf T, Bieber C, Arnold W,
    Millesi E (eds). Living in a seasonal world: thermoregulatory and metabolic
    adaptations. Springer, Heidelberg, pp. 481-491, 2012.  
  • Gilbert C, McCafferty DJ, Le Maho Y, Giroud S, Blanc S, Ancel A. One for all and all
    for one: the energetic benefits of huddling in endotherms. Biological Review 85(3): 545-
    569, 2010. 
  • Giroud S, Perret M, Stein P, Goudable J, Aujard F, Gilbert C, Robin JP, Le Maho Y,
    Zahariev A, Blanc S, Momken I. The grey mouse lemur uses season-dependent fat or
    protein sparing strategies to face chronic food restriction. PLoS One 5(1): e8823, 2010. 
  • Giroud S, Perret M, Gilbert C, Zahariev A, Goudable J, Le Maho Y, Oudart H, Momken
    I, Aujard F, Blanc S. Dietary palmitate and linoleate oxidations, oxidative stress and
    DNA damage differ according to season in mouse lemurs exposed to a chronic food
    deprivation. American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory Integrative and Comparative
    Physiology 297: 950-959, 2009. 
  • Giroud S, Perret M, Le Maho Y, Gilbert G, Blanc S. Gut hormones in relation to body
    mass and torpor patterns changes during food restriction and re-feeding in the grey mouse
    lemur. Journal of Comparative Physiology B – Biochemical Systemic and
    Environmental Physiology 179(1): 99-111, 2009.  
  • Giroud S, Blanc S, Aujard F, Bertrand F, Gilbert C, Perret M. Chronic food shortage and
    seasonal modulations of daily torpor and locomotor activity in the grey mouse lemur
    (Microcebus murinus). American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory Integrative and
    Comparative Physiology 294: 1958-1967, 2008. 
  • Giroud S, Blanc S, Perret M. Seasonal difference in energy-saving mechanisms during
    chronic food shortage in a Malagasy primate. Comparative Biochemistry and
    Physiology A – Molecular and Integrative Physiology 146(4): 79, Congress Abstract,
  • Gilbert C, Blanc S, Giroud S, Trabalon M, Le Maho Y, Perret M, Ancel A. Role of
    huddling on the energetic of growth in a newborn altricial mammal. American Journal
    of Physiology – Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology 293: 867-876. 
  • Dali-Youcef N, Mataki C, Coste A, Messaddeq N, Giroud S, Blanc S, Koehl C, Chambon
    P, Fajas L, Metzger D, Schoonjans K. Auwerx J. Adipose tissue specific inactivation of
    the retinoblastoma protein protects against diabesity due to increased energy expenditure.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104(25): 703-708, 2007. 
Dr. Sylvain Giroud