Richard Wassersug

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Dr. Richard Joel Wassersug (Born April 13, 1946) is an adjunct professor in the Department of Urologic Sciences at the University of British Columbia. He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Medical Neuroscience at Dalhousie University with a cross appointment in the Department of Psychology.[1][2] In additions, he is an adjunct professor at The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society (ARCSHS), La Trobe University.[3]


Dr. Wassersug received his Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University in geology and biology in 1967 and his PhD from the University of Chicago in Evolutionary Biology in 1973. He became a professor in the Dalhousie University’s Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology in 1986 and Honorary Associate Professor in Dalhousie University’s School of Physiotherapy in 1989. In 2010 was an honorary visiting professor at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, at La Trobe University.[4]

Dr. Wassersug is an outspoken communicator of scientific ideas, having served on CBC Radio’s Maritime Noon Science Panel and as a columnist on The Canadian Discovery Channel's Daily Planet (TV series).[5][6]


The majority of his scientific career has been spent studying the functional morphology and behavior of anuran larvae. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers on these animals. Dr. Wassersug’s more recent work focuses on prostate cancer and the psychology of androgen deprivation.[7]

Dr. Wassersug has received funding for his research from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Prostate Cancer Canada, the Prostate Cancer Foundation of British Columbia, Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation, the Canadian Space Agency, Parks Canada, and the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation.[8]


Dr. Wassersug received the Science Communication Award from the Atlantic Provinces Council on the Sciences in 2001.[9] He was also named a Science Champion during the Discovery Awards for Science and Technology in 2003.[10]

He won an Ig Nobel Prize in 2000 for his firsthand report, "On the Comparative Palatability of Some Dry-Season Tadpoles from Costa Rica".[11]

Selected Publications (Since 2008)[edit]

  • Roberts, Lesley F.; Brett, Michelle A.; Johnson, Thomas W.; Wassersug, Richard J. (2008). "A Passion for Castration: Characterizing Men Who Are Fascinated with Castration, but Have Not Been Castrated". Journal of Sexual Medicine. 5 (7): 1669–80. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2007.00636.x. PMID 17961144. 
  • Gouchie, Gillian M.; Roberts, Lesley F.; Wassersug, Richard J. (2008). "Effects of available cover and feeding schedule on the behavior and growth of the juvenile African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis)". Lab Animal. 37 (4): 165–9. doi:10.1038/laban0408-165. PMID 18356916. 
  • Wassersug, R (2008). "Truly dead or just comotose?The status of space biology at the half-century mark". Space Policy. 24 (2): 67–9. doi:10.1016/j.spacepol.2008.03.004. 
  • Gouchie, G. M.; Roberts, L. F.; Wassersug, R. J. (2008). "The effect of mirrors on African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) larval growth, development, and behavior". Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 62 (11): 1821–9. doi:10.1007/s00265-008-0611-7. 
  • Brett Sutherland, Michelle A.; Gouchie, Gillian M.; Wassersug, Richard J. (2009). "Can Visual Stimulation Alone Induce Phenotypically Plastic Responses in Rana sylvatica Tadpole Oral Structures". Journal of Herpetology. 43: 165–8. doi:10.1670/07-197R3.1. 
  • Wassersug, R. J. (2008). "Mastering Emasculation". Journal of Clinical Oncology. 27 (4): 634–6. doi:10.1200/JCO.2008.20.1947. PMID 19103726. 
  • Roberts, Lesley F.; Wassersug, Richard J. (2008). "Does Doing Scientific Research in High School Correlate with Students Staying in Science? A Half-Century Retrospective Study". Research in Science Education. 39 (2): 251–6. doi:10.1007/s11165-008-9083-z. 
  • Wassersug, Richard J.; Oliffe, John L. (2009). "The Social Context for Psychological Distress from Iatrogenic Gynecomastia with Suggestions for Its Management". Journal of Sexual Medicine. 6 (4): 989–1000. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2008.01053.x. PMID 19175864. 
  • Wassersug, Richard Joel (2008). "Passing Through the Wall: On Outings, Exodus, Angels, and the Ark". Journal of Religion and Health. 48 (3): 381–90. doi:10.1007/s10943-008-9231-9. PMID 19115108. 
  • Todd, J.; Amiel, J.; Wassersug, R. (2009). "Factors influencing the emergence of a northern population of Eastern Ribbon Snakes (Thamnophis sauritus) from artificial hibernacula". Canadian Journal of Zoology. 87 (12): 1221–6. doi:10.1139/Z09-114. 
  • Kerney, Ryan; Wassersug, Richard; Hall, Brian K. (2010). "Skeletal advance and arrest in giant non-metamorphosing African clawed frog tadpoles (Xenopus laevis:Daudin)". Journal of Anatomy. 216 (1): 132–43. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7580.2009.01176.x. PMC 2807981free to read. PMID 20402828. 
  • "Desire for Castration Is Not a Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID): A Response". Journal of Sexual Medicine. 7 (2pt1): 852–5. 2010. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01603.x. 
  • Wassersug, Richard (2010). "On the invisibility of the emasculated". Anthropology Today. 26: 1–3. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8322.2010.00707.x. 
  • Cushman, Mitchell A.; Phillips, Joanne L.; Wassersug, Richard J. (2010). "The Language of Emasculation: Implications for Cancer Patients". International Journal of Men's Health. 9: 3–25. doi:10.3149/jmh.0901.3. 
  • Johnson, Thomas W.; Wassersug, Richard J. (2010). "Gender Identity Disorder Outside the Binary: When Gender Identity Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified Is Not Good Enough". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 39 (3): 597–8. doi:10.1007/s10508-010-9608-1. PMID 20182785. 
  • Venesky, Matthew D.; Wassersug, Richard J.; Parris, Matthew J. (2010). "How does a change in labial tooth row number affect feeding kinematics and foraging performance of a ranid tadpole (Lithobates sphenocephalus)?". The Biological Bulletin. 218 (2): 160–8. PMID 20413792. 
  • Vale, Kayla; Johnson, Thomas; Jansen, Maren; Lawson, B. Keith; Lieberman, Tucker; Willette, K. H.; Wassersug, Richard (2010). "The Development of Standards of Care for Individuals with a Male-to-Eunuch Gender Identity Disorder". International Journal of Transgenderism. 12: 40–51. doi:10.1080/15532731003749095. 
  • Todd, Josie; Wassersug, Richard (2010). "Caudal pseudoautotomy in the Eastern Ribbon Snake Thamnophis sauritus". Amphibia-Reptilia. 31 (2): 213–5. doi:10.1163/156853810791069056. 
  • Amiel, Joshua J.; Wassersug, Richard J. (2010). "Temperature differentials between the bodies and tails of ribbon snakes (Thamnophis sauritus): ecological and physiological implications". Amphibia-Reptilia. 31 (2): 257–63. doi:10.1163/156853810791069137. 
  • Venesky, Matthew D.; Wassersug, Richard J.; Parris, Matthew J. (2010). "Fungal Pathogen Changes the Feeding Kinematics of Larval Anurans". Journal of Parasitology. 96 (3): 552–7. doi:10.1645/GE-2353.1. PMID 20557202. 
  • Venesky, Matthew D.; Wassersug, Richard J.; Parris, Matthew J. (2010). "The Impact of Variation in Labial Tooth Number on the Feeding Kinematics of Tadpoles of Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus)". Copeia. 2010 (3): 481–6. doi:10.1643/CG-09-093. 
  • Elliott, Stacy; Latini, David M.; Walker, Lauren M.; Wassersug, Richard; Robinson, John W.; Adt Survivorship Working, Group (2010). "Androgen Deprivation Therapy for Prostate Cancer: Recommendations to Improve Patient and Partner Quality of Life". The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 7 (9): 2996–3010. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.01902.x. PMID 20626600. 
  • Wibowo, Erik; Schellhammer, Paul; Wassersug, Richard J. (2010). "Role of Estrogen in Normal Male Function: Clinical Implications for Patients With Prostate Cancer on Androgen Deprivation Therapy". The Journal of Urology. 185 (1): 17–23. doi:10.1016/j.juro.2010.08.094. PMID 21074215. 
  • Wassersug, R. J.; Lieberman, T. (2010). "Contemporary castration: why the modern day eunuch remains invisible". BMJ. 341: c4509. doi:10.1136/bmj.c4509. PMID 20719851. 
  • Wassersug, RJ; Gray, R (2011). "The health and well-being of prostate cancer patients and male-to-female transsexuals on androgen deprivation therapy: a qualitative study with comments on expectations and estrogen.". Psychology, Health & Medicine. 16 (1): 39–52. doi:10.1080/13548506.2010.516364. PMID 21218363. 
  • Murphy, Robyn; Wassersug, Richard; Dechman, Gail (2011). "The role of exercise in managing the adverse effects of androgen deprivation therapy in men with prostate cancer". Physical Therapy Reviews. 16 (4): 269–277. doi:10.1179/1743288X11Y.0000000029. 
  • Wibowo, E; Deurveilher, S; Wassersug, RJ; Semba, K (2012). "Estradiol treatment modulates spontaneous sleep and recovery after sleep deprivation in castrated male rats.". Behavioural Brain Research. 226 (2): 456–64. doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2011.09.045. PMID 22004978. 
  • Aning, JJ; Wassersug, RJ; Goldenberg, SL (2012). "Patient preference and the impact of decision-making aids on prostate cancer treatment choices and post-intervention regret.". Current Oncology. 19 (Suppl 3): S37–44. doi:10.3747/co.19.1287. PMID 23355792. 
  • Ogah, I; Wassersug, RJ (2012). "How reliable are "reputable sources" for medical information on the Internet? The case of hormonal therapy to treat prostate cancer.". Urologic Oncology. 31 (8): 1546–52. doi:10.1016/j.urolonc.2012.08.003. PMID 23141782. 
  • Phillips, JL; Wassersug, RJ; McLeod, DL (2012). "Systemic bias in the medical literature on androgen deprivation therapy and its implication to clinical practice.". International Journal of Clinical Practice. 66 (12): 1189–96. doi:10.1111/ijcp.12025. PMID 23163498. 
  • Wibowo, E; Wassersug, R; Warkentin, K; Walker, L; Robinson, J; Brotto, L; Johnson, T (2012). "Impact of androgen deprivation therapy on sexual function: a response.". Asian Journal of Andrology. 14 (5): 793–4. doi:10.1038/aja.2012.60. PMID 22796736. 
  • Wassersug, Richard J.; McKenna, Emma; Lieberman, Tucker (2012). "Eunuch as a gender identity after castration". Journal of Gender Studies. 21 (3): 253–270. doi:10.1080/09589236.2012.681178. 
  • Rot, I; Ogah, I; Wassersug, RJ (2012). "The language of prostate cancer treatments and implications for informed decision making by patients.". European Journal of Cancer Care. 21 (6): 766–75. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2354.2012.01359.x. PMID 22574619. 
  • Rot, I; Ogah, I; Wassersug, RJ (2012). "Knowledge of reproductive system cancers, their treatments and side effects.". Journal of Cancer Education. 27 (3): 559–65. doi:10.1007/s13187-012-0344-1. PMID 22528630. 
  • Walker, LM; Tran, S; Wassersug, RJ; Thomas, B; Robinson, JW (Jan 25, 2012). "Patients and partners lack knowledge of androgen deprivation therapy side effects.". Urologic Oncology. 31 (7): 1098–105. doi:10.1016/j.urolonc.2011.12.015. PMID 22285008. 
  • Sutherland, MB; Langer, B; Wassersug, R (2012). "Getting a leg up on the competition: the importance of osteology in elite athletics.". The American Journal of Bioethics. 12 (7): 25–7. doi:10.1080/15265161.2012.680540. PMID 22694028. 
  • Wibowo, E; Deurveilher, S; Wassersug, RJ; Semba, K (2012). "Estradiol treatment modulates spontaneous sleep and recovery after sleep deprivation in castrated male rats.". Behavioural Brain Research. 226 (2): 456–64. doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2011.09.045. PMID 22004978. 
  • Walker, LM; Hampton, AJ; Wassersug, RJ; Thomas, BC; Robinson, JW (2013). "Androgen Deprivation Therapy and maintenance of intimacy: a randomized controlled pilot study of an educational intervention for patients and their partners.". Contemporary Clinical Trials. 34 (2): 227–31. doi:10.1016/j.cct.2012.11.007. PMID 23220254. 
  • Wibowo, E; Wassersug, RJ (Feb 25, 2013). "The effect of estrogen on the sexual interest of castrated males: Implications to prostate cancer patients on androgen-deprivation therapy.". Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology. 87 (3): 224–38. doi:10.1016/j.critrevonc.2013.01.006. PMID 23484454. 
  • Wibowo, E; Wassersug, RJ (2013). "Does the timing of estrogen administration after castration affect its ability to preserve sexual interest in male rats?--exploring the critical period hypothesis.". Physiology & Behavior. 110-111: 63–72. doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2012.12.010. PMID 23274500. 
  • Venesky, MD; Rossa-Feres, DC; Nomura, F; de Andrade, GV; Pezzuti, TL; de Sousa, VT; Anderson, CV; Wassersug, RJ (2013). "Comparative feeding kinematics of tropical hylid tadpoles.". The Journal of Experimental Biology. 216 (Pt 10): 1928–37. doi:10.1242/jeb.082040. PMID 23430988.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  • Treleaven, Michelle M.M.; Jackowich, Robyn A.; Roberts, Lesley; Wassersug, Richard J.; Johnson, Thomas (2013). "Castration and personality: Correlation of androgen deprivation and estrogen supplementation with the Big Five factor personality traits of adult males". Journal of Research in Personality. 47 (4): 376–379. doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2013.03.005. 
  • Wassersug, RJ; Lyons, A; Duncan, D; Dowsett, GW; Pitts, M (Jun 14, 2013). "Diagnostic and Outcome Differences Between Heterosexual and Nonheterosexual Men Treated for Prostate Cancer.". Urology. 82 (3): 565–71. doi:10.1016/j.urology.2013.04.022. PMID 23768520. 
  • Kukula, KC; Jackowich, RA; Wassersug, RJ (Jul 4, 2013). "Eroticization as a factor influencing erectile dysfunction treatment effectiveness.". International Journal of Impotence Research. 26 (1): 1–6. doi:10.1038/ijir.2013.29. PMID 23823215. 


  1. ^ "Dalhousie Anatomy and Neurobiology Faculty and Administration". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  2. ^ "Cross-Appointed Faculty - Department of Psychology". 2010-10-14. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  3. ^ "Staff profile, La Trobe University". 2010-08-12. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  4. ^ [1][self-published source?]
  5. ^ "Maritime Noon | Phone-In Regulars". 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  6. ^ Ingram, Jay (2010). Daily Planet: The Ultimate Book of Everyday Science. Penguin Canada. p. 145. ISBN 978-0-14-317786-9. 
  7. ^ [2][self-published source?]
  8. ^ [3][self-published source?]
  9. ^ Atlantic Provinces Council on the Sciences Biennial Report April 1, 2001 – March 31, 2003
  10. ^ "People". 2002-12-11. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  11. ^

External links[edit]