Dr Caroline Pond

Research Interests

Caroline Pond read Zoology at Oxford and, supported by a Christopher Welch Scholarship, did a D.Phil. (1971) on the mechanics and neurobiology of insect flight (supervised by Professor J.W.S. Pringle, FRS). She was also a Departmental Demonstrator in comparative physiology 1971-5 and tutor in Zoology & Human Sciences at St Hilda's College. After periods in USA, including teaching gross anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School, she returned to Britain in 1979 to work for The Open University in Milton Keynes. She wrote science courses on a variety of topics in general, comparative and evolutionary biology and investigated the functional and phylogenetic basis of the organisation and anatomical relations of white adipose tissue in terrestrial vertebrates, becoming Professor of Comparative Anatomy in 2002. Comparative studies included naturally obesity in polar bears, arctic foxes, Svalbard reindeer and other high-latitude mammals. From the mid-1990s, experimental research concentrated on the mechanisms and functions of paracrine interactions between perinodal adipocytes surrounding lymph nodes and lymphoid cells in mammals and their human pathological defects, notably Crohn's disease.

She retired in 2010 and now lives in Oxford where she continues to write and do odd jobs on a voluntary basis, including leading tours for visitors to the Oxford Museum of Natural History. In 2013-15 she transcribed into digital form 38 volumes of manuscript Field Notes, many about Wytham Wood and the surrounding estates, that were compiled in 1942-1965 by Charles S. Elton, FRS, CBE (1900-1991) while he was Director of the Bureau of Animal Population, a research group affiliated to the Department of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy (from 1963, Department of Zoology), Oxford University. They had been stored in the University Museum (now Oxford Museum of Natural History) since Elton retired in 1967. Using manuscripts loaned by the Elton family, she also transcribed his accounts of his activities on three expeditions from Oxford University to Spitsbergen (now Svalbard) in 1921, 1923 & 1924, a research visit to the Caribbean and Amazon rainforest in 1968, and lectures describing the work of the Bureau of Animal Population, one by Elton himself (1962) and one by his collaborator, Dr John Clarke (1993). All these transcripts are available in .pdf form on the Bodleian Library website here

In 2017-8, she donated her collection of preserved vertebrate remains, mostly skulls and skeletons, to the Zoology Department and funded the conversion of derelict garages (formerly stables) behind WildCRU's Tubney House into a study room where students and researchers can examine them. A comprehensive catalogue of The Pond Collection at WildCRU plus the Introduction and Terms of Use for the material can be viewed here.

Scientists may, following approval of requests, use the Collection for any biologically-relevant physical or chemical procedures including those involving removal, defacement or partial destruction of the specimens. Artists are welcome to draw, photograph, trace or scan any item, but permission will NOT be granted for removal or defacement of specimens for collages, installations or other non-scientific purposes.

Selected Publications

Pond CM (1998) The Fats of Life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (also available in Chinese).

Pond CM (2017) Accuracy and artistry in anatomical illustration of perivascular adipose tissue. Frontiers in Physiology 8, 990. doi:10.3389/phy.2017.00990

Pond CM (2017) The evolution of mammalian adipose tissues. In Adipose Tissue Biology, ed M. E. Symonds (Springer Science Heidelberg and New York) 1-59 p.

Pond CM (2015) Charles Elton's accounts of expeditions from Oxford to the Arctic in the 1920s. Arctic 68, 273-279.

Pond CM (2013) Digitizing the Elton Archive. Bulletin of the British Ecological Society 44, 58-61.

Pond CM (2010) Bloodless revolution. Physiology News 78, 21-23. Klein J, Permana PA, Owecki M, Chaldakov GN, Böhm M, Hausman G, Lapière CM, Anatassova P, Sowinski J, Fasshauer M, Hausman DB, Maquoi E, Tonchev AB, Peneva VN, Vlachanov KP, Fiore M, Aloe L, Slominski A, Reardon CL, Ryan TJ & Pond CM (2007) What are subcutaneous adipocytes really good for…? Experimental Dermatology 16, 43-70.

Iacobellis G, Pond CM & Sharma AM (2006) Different "weight" of cardiac and general adiposity in predicting left ventricle morphology. Obesity 14, 1679-1684.

Pond CM (1998) The Fats of Life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (also available in Chinese).

Pond CM (2003) Paracrine interactions of mammalian adipose tissue. Journal of Experimental Zoology 295A, 99-110.

Pond CM (2005) Adipose tissue and the immune system. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids 73, 17-30.

Pond CM (2009) Paracrine provision of lipids in the immune system. Current Immunology Reviews 5, 150-160.

Pond CM & Mattacks CA (2003) The source of fatty acids incorporated into proliferating lymphoid cells in immune-stimulated lymph nodes. British Journal of Nutrition 89, 375-382. ]

Sadler D, Mattacks CA & Pond CM (2005) Changes in adipocytes and dendritic cells in lymph node-containing adipose depots during and after many weeks of mild inflammation. Journal of Anatomy, London 207, 761-789.

Westcott EDA, Mattacks CA, Windsor ACJ, Knight SC & Pond CM (2006) Perinodal adipose tissue and fatty acid composition of lymphoid tissues in patients with and without Crohn´s Disease and their implications for the aetiology and treatment of CD. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1072, 395-400.

Westcott EDA, Windsor ACJ, Mattacks CA, Pond CM & Knight SC (2005) Fatty acid compositions of lipids in mesenteric adipose tissue and lymphoid cells in patients with and without Crohn's disease and their therapeutic implications. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases 11, 820-827.