Joy is the enthusiastic, scalpel-wielding anatomist, who presents the programmes with Mark. She loves nothing more than being knee deep in a dissection!
Joy is the enthusiastic, scalpel-wielding anatomist, who presents the programmes with Mark. She loves nothing more than being knee deep in a dissection! She was originally recruited as the scientist on the whale episode but her passion and expertise has led to her involvement with all of the programmes and she is an essential ingredient in the magic of Inside Nature's Giants.
Joy studied animal anatomy and physiology at Cornell University's College of Arts and Sciences, with a minor in Art History. She went on to do a PhD in biomedical sciences, specializing in anatomy, at the City University of New York Graduate Program at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Joy's career path allowed her to combine her interests in the 3 'As': art, animals, and anatomy. She is now a professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where she teaches Human Gross Anatomy, Histology, and Anatomic Radiology to medical and graduate students.
Joy also pursues her research interests in comparative anatomy. She hopes that by studying the anatomy of animals adapted to extreme environments, she will find inspiration for developing new protections for human survival in similar conditions, or treatments for injuries or diseases that mimic these conditions. It is amazing how nature has solved these same problems through evolution.
Research in Joy's laboratory examines the comparative anatomy, development, and evolution of the mammalian upper respiratory tract, particularly factors that may affect breathing, swallowing, and vocalizing abilities, or clinical disorders. She is particularly interested in studying aquatic animals (whales, dolphins and porpoises, seals, sea lions, manatees, hippos, sea turtles, etc.) and how evolutionary forces have selected for a highly specialized upper respiratory tract adapted for living in water.
Her current project is developing an atlas for the anatomy of the baleen whale. One of her specific goals is to investigate the controversial role of the whale's larynx in sound production for communication or echolocation. She is also very interested in how the respiratory tract of marine mammals and sea turtles can withstand the extreme pressure changes of deep diving.