Leo Demski

Emeritus Professor of Biology

Founding Director Pritzker Marine Biology Center


Phone Number

Email Address



Palmer Building D 211


Heiser E172C



Ph.D., University of Rochester
B.A., Miami University (Ohio)

Teaching and research in the areas of neurobiology and reproduction are Professor Demski’s primary emphasis. Although his main interest is brain and hormonal control of sexual physiology and behavior in marine and freshwater fishes, he also supervises similar studies in the cephalochordate amphioxus as well as in dolphins and other toothed whales. Techniques used in the research vary from underwater observation of mating activity to immunocytochemical localization of neuropeptide hormones within nerve cells.

Professor Demski is also active in conservation biology, especially concerning the reproduction of sharks and other fishes in captivity. He and his students participate in programs at several major zoos, aquariums and marine laboratories. His courses and/or tutorials are in the areas of comparative neurobiology and behavior, reproductive biology and comparative endocrinology, fish biology, zoo biology, biology of marine mammals, and functional morphology.

Recent Courses

Fish Biology Lecture
Fish Biology Laboratory
Neurobiology and Behavior of Marine Animals Lecture
Neurobiology and Behavior of Marine Animals Laboratory
Vertebrate Neuroanatomy Lecture
Vertebrate Neuroanatomy Laboratory

Selected Publications

Demski, L. S., Heuter, R. E., Mann, D. A., Maruska, K. P., & Sisneros, J. A. (2004). Sensory biology of Elasmobranchs: Olfaction. In J. C. Carrier, J. A. Musick & M. R. Heithaus (Eds.), Biology of sharks and their relatives (pp. 350-357). Boca Raton: CRC Press.