Naval Sea Systems Awards Grant to University at Buffalo Researcher

Published May 22, 2015

David Hostler, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions, was awarded a grant from Naval Sea Systems (NAVSEA) for $259,964.  The study funded through this grant will examine diver physiology both during and after water immersion activities that are commonplace amongst Navy personnel.

“The University at Buffalo has a long history of performing research for NAVSEA and the Office of Naval Research. We are one of only a handful of labs that study diver performance and safety,” explains Hostler, the principle investigator on the grant. “We also have one of the only labs that can study divers at depth in a hyperbaric chamber that can be flooded and temperature controlled to simulate nearly any diving environment on the planet.”

This will be the first study to look at the 24 hour recovery period following a typical Navy mission that transitions from the water to the land and the results of this study will help provide Navy protocols to insure divers are properly hydrated to prolong endurance activity and make missions safer for divers.  Additionally, the results may influence Navy’s position or timeline to develop and deploy in-water, re-hydration systems if rehydration during immersion is discovered to be ineffective.

Hostler earned his PhD at Ohio University where his research focus was on skeletal muscle adaptation to training and detraining followed by postdoctoral training in resuscitation at the University of Pittsburgh. Hostler stayed at Pitt as research faculty in emergency medicine finishing his time there as the department of emergency medicine professor of first responder health and safety research. He has been a firefighter/paramedic and hazardous materials technician for more than 20 years, which has influenced his current research program that focuses on work physiology of first responders. His research interests include work physiology, environmental physiology, recovery, thermal stress, burns, and ergonomics of protective clothing.