St. Mary's University 1 Camino Santa MariaSan Antonio, TX 78228 +1-210-436-3011 St. Mary's Universitylogo William Joseph Chaminade St. Mary's University, Texas
The Catholic and Marianist University

Marshall McCue, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences



  • Ph.D., University of Arkansas, 2008
  • M.S., University of California Irvine, 2003
  • B.S., University of Florida, 2001


  • General Physiology
  • Comparative Physiology
  • General Biology


McCue is a comparative physiologist who seeks to understand how animals have become adapted to cope with the unique challenges presented by their respective environments.

As a graduate student, McCue was granted a three-year fellowship by the National Science Foundation to study the bioenergetic costs and benefits associated with venom production by pit vipers. As a doctoral student, he was granted a four-year fellowship to research the physiological and biochemical strategies that allow some vertebrates to survive years of prolonged fasting. After earning his doctorate, McCue spent two years in Israel supported by the Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research and the Ministry of Education, where he mentored undergraduate and graduate students and conducted research to develop novel approaches for using stable isotopes to investigate how animals store and/or breakdown the nutrients in the foods they ingest.

McCue is an active member of the American Physiological Society and the Society for Comparative and Integrative Biology.


McCue, M.D., K.J. Kaiyala, J.R.B. Lighton, M.G. Barton and J.S. Terblanche. 2017. A respirometry equation that can be used to calculate metabolic rates across a wide range of experimental oxygen concentrations. in Review.

Brace, A.J., M.D. McCue and L.B. Martin. 2017. Glucose oxidation predicts responses to malaria exposure in brown anole lizards. in Revision

McCue, M.D., J.S. Terblanche and J.A. Benoit. 2017. Learning to starve: impacts of food limitation beyond the stress period. Journal of Experimental Biology. in press.

Kirschman, L.J., M.D. McCue, J.G. Boyles and R.W. Warne. 2017. Energetic and nutrient costs of development and metamorphosis are altered by physiological stress. Journal of Experimental Biology. doi: 10.1242/jeb.164830

McCue, M.D., C.A. Passement, D.K. Meyerholz. 2017.The fasted large intestine does not exhibit the large structural changes seen in the small intestine: a comparative morphological examination of species from five vertebrate classes. Anatomical Record. DOI: 10.1002/ar.23691

Hatle, J., A. Awan, J. Nicholas, R. Koch, G. Vokrri, M.D. McCue, C. Williams, G. Davidowitz and D. Hahn. 2017. Life-extending dietary restriction and ovariectomy each have distinct effects on nutrient oxidation and allocation in grasshoppers, especially for leucine. Experimental Gerontology. 96:155-161.

Levin, E., M.D. McCue and G. Davidowitz. 2017. Sex differences in the utilization of essential and non-essential amino acids in a Lepidoptera. Journal of Experimental Biology. in Press. jeb-154757.

McCue, M.D., J. Sandoval, J. Beltran and A.R. Gerson. 2017. Dehydration causes increased reliance on protein oxidation in mice: a test of the protein-for-water hypothesis. Physiological Biochemistry and Zoology. 90(3):359-369. DOI: 10.1086/690912

Levin, E., M.D. McCue and G. Davidowitz. 2017. Beyond sugar: allocation and metabolism of nectar amino acids and fatty acids in a Lepidopteran. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 284(1848). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2016.2126

McCue, M.D., A. Albach and G. Salazar. 2017. Repeated exposure to food limitation earlier in life enables rats to lower body temperatures and spare lipid stores during prolonged starvation. Physiological Biochemistry and Zoology. 90(1):63-74. DOI: 10.1086/689323

Williams, C.M., M.D. McCue, N.E. Sunny, T.J. Morgan, D.B. Allison, A.E. Edison and D.A. Hahn. 2016. Cold-adaptation increases rates of nutrient flow and metabolic plasticity during cold exposure in Drosophila melanogaster. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 283(1838). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2016.1317

McCue, M.D., I. Salinas, G. Ramirez, S.R. Wilder. 2016. The postabsorptive and postprandial metabolic rates of praying mantises: comparisons across species, body masses, and meal sizes. Journal of Insect Physiology. 93-94:64-71.

McCue, M.D., L. Boardman, S. Clusella-Trullas, E. Kleynhans and J.S. Terblanche. 2016. The speed and metabolic cost of digesting a blood meal depends on temperature in a major disease vector. J Exp Biol. 219(12):1893-1902.

McCue, M.D. and K. C. Welch. 2016. 13C-Breath testing in animals: Theory, applications, and future directions. J Comp Physiol 186B(3): 265-285.

McCue, M.D., R.M. Guzman, C.A. Passement and G. Davidowitz. 2015. How do insects rely on endogenous protein and lipid resources during lethal bouts of starvation? A new application for 13C-breath testing. in review.

Welch, K.C., F. Perronet, C.C. Voigt, K. Hatch and M.D. McCue. 2015. Combining respirometry with stable isotopes to investigate fuel use in animals. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. in press.

McCue, M.D., C.A. Passement and R.M. Guzman. 2015. Digesting pythons oxidize the proteins in their meals and save the lipids for later. Journal of Experimental Biology. in revision.

McCue, M.D., M. Rodriguez, C.A. Passement. 2015. Intense exercise increases the reliance on carbohydrate oxidation and makes the breath isotopically heavier. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. 179A:164-171.

Kohl, K, J. Amaya, C.A. Passement, M.D. Dearing, M.D. McCue. 2014. Unique and shared responses of the gut microbiota to prolonged fasting: a comparative study across five classes of vertebrate hosts. FEMS Microbial Ecology. 90(3):883-894.

McCue, M.D., C. Voigt, M. Jefimow, M. Wojciechowski. 2014. Thermal acclimation and nutritional history affect exogenous substrate oxidation in Siberian hamsters, Phodopus sungorus. J. Experimental Zoology. 321(9):503-514.

Coon, C. A. C., A. J. Brace, S. R. McWilliams, M. D. McCue and L. B. Martin. 2014. Introduced and native congeners use different resource allocation strategies to maintain performance during infection.” Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 87(4): 559-567.

McCue, M.D. and E.D. Pollock. 2013. Measurements of substrate oxidation using 13CO2 breath testing reveals shifts in fuel mix during prolonged fasting. Journal of Comparative Physiology: in press.

McCue, M.D. 2013. What is the most dangerous snake? Journal of Venomous Animals and Tropical Diseases. 19(1):1-2

McCue, M.D., J.A. Amaya, A.Yang, et al. 2013. Targeted 13C enrichment of lipid and protein pools in the body reveals circadian changes in oxidative fuel mixture during prolonged fasting: a case study using Japanese quail. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology: in press

Ben-Hamo, M., M.D. McCue, et al. 2013. Ambient temperature and nutritional stress influence fatty acid composition of structural and fuel lipids in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) tissues. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. 166A(2): 244-250.

McCue, M.D. and R. de los Santos 2013. Upper thermal limits of insects are not the result of insufficient oxygen delivery. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology. 86(2): 257-265.

McCue, M.D., B. Arquisola, E. Albach. 2013. Hens produce artificially enriched 13C egg proteins for metabolic tracer studies. International Journal of Biology. 5(2): 69-84.

McCue, M.D. 2012. An introduction to fasting, starvation, and food limitation. Comparative Physiology of Fasting, Starvation, and Food Limitation. M.D. McCue. New York, Springer-Verlag: 1-6.

Munoz-Garcia, A., S. Aamidor, M.D. McCue, et al. 2012. Allocation of endogenous and dietary protein in the reconstitution of the gastrointestinal tract in migratory blackcaps at stopover sites. Journal of Experimental Biology. 215: 1069-1075.

McCue, M.D. 2012. Horizons in starvation research. Comparative Physiology of Fasting, Starvation, and Food Limitation. M.D. McCue. New York, Springer-Verlag: 409-420.McCue, M.D., Ed. 2012.

Khalilieh, A., M.D. McCue, B. Pinshow. 2012. Physiological responses to food deprivation in the house sparrow, a species not adapted to prolonged fasting. American Journal of Physiology. 303: R551-R561.

McCue, M.D., Ed. (2012). The Comparative Physiology of Fasting Starvation and Food Limitation. New York, Springer-Verlag. 431 pages.

McCue, M.D., H.B. Lillywhite, S.J. Beaupre. 2012. Physiological responses to starvation in snakes: low energy specialists. Comparative Physiology of Fasting, Starvation, and Food Limitation. M.D. McCue. New York, Springer-Verlag: 103-132.

McCue, M.D. 2011. Tracking the oxidative and nonoxidative fates of isotopically labeled nutrients in animals. BioScience. 61(3): 217-230.

McCue, M.D., A. Smith, R. McKinney, B. Rewald, B. Pinshow, S.R. McWilliams. 2011. A mass balance approach to identify and compare differential routing of 13C-labeled carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins in vivo. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology. 82(2):32-42.

McCue, M.D., S.R. McWilliams, B. Pinshow. 2011. Ontogeny and nutritional status influence oxidative kinetics of exogenous nutrients and whole-animal bioenergetics in zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology. 84(1): 32-42.

Ben-Hamo, M., M.D. McCue, et al. 2011. Dietary fatty acid composition influences tissue lipid profiles and regulation of body temperature in Japanese quail. Journal of Comparative Physiology. 181(6): 807-816.

Rewald, B., S. Rachmilevitch, M.D. McCue, J.E. Eprath. 2011. Influence of saline drip-irrigation on fine root and sap-flow densities of mature olive trees. Environmental and Experimental Botany. 72: 107-114.

McCue, M.D. 2010. Starvation physiology: reviewing the different strategies animals use to survive a common challenge. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. 156A: 1-18.

McCue, M.D. 2010. Hyperoxia reduces the costs of digestion in snakes: Investigating the energetic consequences of the paleoatmosphere. Open Access Animal Physiology. 2: 69-79.

Sapir, N., M. Wikelski, M.D. McCue, et al. 2010. Flight modes in migrating European bee-eaters: heart rate may indicate low metabolic rate during soaring and gliding. PlosOne. 5(11).

McCue, M.D., O. Sivan, et al. 2010. Tracking the oxidative kinetics of carbohydrates, amino acids, and fatty acids in the house sparrow using exhaled 13CO2. Journal of Experimental Biology. 213: 782-789.

Ben-Hamo, M., B. Pinshow, M.D. McCue, et al. 2010. Fasting triggers hypothermia and ambient temperature modulates its depth in Japanese quail Coturnix japonica. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. 156A(1): 84-91.

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