Crocker Joins LMU-CVM

Dr. Crocker headshot

The Lincoln Memorial University – Richard A Gillespie College of Veterinary Medicine (LMU-CVM) welcomes Dr. Carlos Crocker.


Crocker is a comparative physiologist with a PhD in Physiology from the University of California, Davis, specializing in ecophysiology of vertebrate ectotherms, specifically amphibians, fish, and reptiles.  His dissertation research was on cardio-respiratory/acid base physiology of white sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanus, exposed to hypoxic and hypercapnic environments.  His master's degree in biology and BS in Zoology are from California State Polytechnic University (CPSU), Pomona.


Crocker’s graduate work at CPSU involved acid-base balance/regulation in larval tiger salamanders, Ambystoma tigrinum.  After earning a PhD, he completed post-doctoral research at Brown University/University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, where he investigated acid-base/diving physiology of freshwater turtles, mostly Chrysemys picta.  


“I also did field work in the dead of winter which involved scuba diving; I used a chainsaw to cut a hole through about 14 inches of ice and then dove down to the bottom of the Lamoille River to study acid-base physiology of Map turtles, Graptemys geographica,” Crocker said. “The running joke in my department at Brown was that it took a crazy Californian to come to Vermont to dive under the ice in the middle of winter.”


After two years at Brown, he went to the University of Colorado, Boulder, for one year and studied bioenergetics in desert iguanas, Dipsosaurus dorsalis.  He accepted his first University physiology teaching position at San Francisco State University (SFSU) and was there for five years before moving to southern California to begin a teaching post at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University (WU, CVM) in Pomona.  


“I received my tenure after 4 years and then, between years 4 and 5, used some vacation time to travel to Grand Cayman Island to teach a semester at St. Matthew's University, College of Veterinary Medicine (SMU),” Crocker said. “It was a fantastic experience and when I returned to California, I had a great desire to return to the island.  As it happened, the Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at SMU contacted me not long after I returned to WU, CVM and he offered me a position as Department Head of Preclinic Sciences.  I considered the offer for about 4 milliseconds and then I accepted.  I packed up, sold a bunch of stuff, and for the next 5 years I lived on Grand Cayman.”


He eventually left island life for a job at Touro University, College of Osteopathic Medicine, in Henderson, Nevada.  



While in NEPA, he worked as a technician/office manager at a veterinary hospital and taught physiology at a local college in Wilkes-Barre. Most recently, he lived and worked in Dallas, Texas, for six years before coming to LMU-CVM.  


“The best part about being a physiology professor is helping students cultivate their metacognitive superpowers,” Crocker said.


Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The LMU-Richard A. Gillespie College of Veterinary Medicine is located on LMU’s main campus in Harrogate, Tennessee, with additional academic facilities in nearby Lee County, Virginia. LMU-CVM is an integral part of the University’s medical programs and provides real-world, community-based education in a collaborative learning environment. For more information about LMU-CVM, call 1.800.325.0900, ext. 6600 or visit us online at

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