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Graduate Students

Morgan Benowitz-Fredericks (zmbf@u.washington.edu) - I am interested in the effects of early endocrine regimes on bird development. Specifically, I am investigating the interaction between maternal environment, the hormones that are deposited into egg yolk, and their effects on chick growth.

Shallin Busch (shallin@u.washington.edu) - I am interested in using endocrinology to gain insight into how habitat change affects the life-history and population structure of tropical birds.

Lisa Hayward (lhayward@u.washington.edu) - I am interested in the influence of a bird's environment on the development of her offspring. Specifically, I am investigating the transfer of corticosterone (a stress steroid) from laying bird to egg yolk and its effects on phenotype.

Meta Landys (meta@u.washington.edu) - I study the physiology of avian migration. I conduct my research on Bar-tailed Godwits and Red Knots, and look at processes as diverse as hormonal control of migration, water balance during flight, blood characteristics and metabolism.

Sharon Lynn (slynn@u.washington.edu) - I am interested in the importance of parental care in shaping hormone-behavior interactions during breeding. Specifically, I am studying the adrenocortical response to stress and testosterone insensitivity in a prairie songbird, the Chestnut-collared longspur.

Noah Owen-Ashley (nowenash@u.washington.edu)

Nicole Perfito (perfito@u.washington.edu) - A variety of environmental cues (in addition to daylength) are used by seasonally breeding birds to precisely time reproduction, so that young are hatched when food is plentiful. My research focuses on which cues are relevant to birds breeding in the field, as well as testing in the lab which cues are most effective in speeding up or slowing down seasonal gonadal growth. I am interested in how birds integrate cues and transduce them into endocrine signals that affect rates of growth.

Matthew Richardson (matthewr@u.washington.edu) - My research looks at the hormonal and behavioural adaptations exhibited by birds breeding at high altitude. My study organism is the Grey-crowned Rosy Finch (Leucosticte tephrocotis), which breeds above treeline from the crest of the Sierra Nevada to maritime tundra on the Pribiloff Islands.

Deborah Wisti-Peterson (nyneve@u.washington.edu) - Our lab studies how changes in steroid hormones are correlated with changes in physiology and behavior in wild birds. To better understand the molecular bases of how typical breeding behaviors and physiological changes are correlated with documented changes in hormone levels, I am looking at changes in the "middle man"; the steroid hormone receptors. Currently, I am cloning the androgen receptor (AR) from white-crowned sparrows and identifying changes in the numbers and the distribution patterns for ARs in both male and female white-crowned sparrows. Other projects that I am engaged in include developing and refining PCR methods for quickly identifying the sex of wild birds using a variety of samples as DNA sources.

Brian Walker (bwalker@u.washington.edu) - My research focuses on the effects of ecotourism disturbance on Magellanic Penguins breeding in Patagonia, Argentina. I examine stress levels of corticosterone, and compare penguin's hormonal responses to behavioral responses to determine if physiological and behavioral reactions are similar.