I undertook my PhD at UCLA studying water balance in desert beetles. I then went travelling, taking a postdoctoral position wherever I found one; so I was at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, University of Arizona and University of British Columbia. I obtained a postdoc at La Trobe University before being appointed as a contract lecturer here at ANU in 1987. I have lectured in physiological, behavioural and introductory ecology, invertebrate and vertebrate zoology, entomology and the current physiology courses. My research uses various microscopic techniques (confocal, SEM, x-ray µCT), as well as a variety of electrophysiological techniques. I am editor-in-chief for the Australian Journal of Zoology.
- Cooper, P.D., Schaffer, W.M. and Buchmann, S.L. 1985. Heat budgets and temperature regulation in honey bees foraging in the desert. Journal of Experimental Biology 114, 1-15.
- Cooper, P.D. 1994. Mechanisms of hemolymph acid-base regulation in aquatic insects. Physiological Zoology 67, 29-53.
- Cooper, P.D. and He, P.-H. 1994. Control of foregut contraction in the black field cricket, Teleogryllus commodus Walker (Orthoptera, Gryllidae). Journal of Insect Physiology 40, 475-481.
- East, P.D., Hales, D.F.& Cooper, P.D. 1997. Distribution of sulfakinin-like peptides in the central and sympathetic nervous system of the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana (L.) and the field cricket Teleogryllus commodus (Walker). Tissue and Cell 39, 347-354.
- Cooper, P.D. 2001. What physiological processes permit insects to eat Eucalyptus leaves? Australian Journal of Ecology 26, 556-562.
- Woodman, J.D. P.D. Cooper and V.S. Haritos. 2007. Cyclic gas exchange in the giant burrowing cockroach, Macropanesthia rhinoceros: effect of oxygen tension and temperature. Journal of Insect Physiology 53, 497-504.
- Woodman, J.D., Paul D. Cooper and Victoria S. Haritos. 2008. Neural regulation of discontinuous gas exchange in Periplaneta americana. Journal of Insect Physiology 54, 472-480.
- Woodman, J.D., V. S. Haritos and P.D. Cooper. 2008. Effects of phosphine on the neural regulation of gas exchange in Periplaneta americana. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology 147: 271-277.
- Cooper, P.D., S.R. Dennis, J.D. Woodman, A. Cowlings and C. Donnelly. 2010. Effect of opioid compounds on feeding and activity of the cockroach, Periplaneta americana. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology C 151, 298-302.
- Cooper, P.D. & Beckage, N.E. 2010. The effects of parasitism on foregut contraction in the caterpillar of the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta L. Journal of Insect Physiology, 56, 1958-1965.