Kat, Sarah, and John Present at ABC 2019

This past weekend, Kat gave a talk and Sarah and John presented posters at the 2019 Animal Behavior Conference! This annual meeting is hosted by Indiana University’s own Center for the Integrative Study for Animal Behavior (CISAB). Way to go!

Clarissa Defends Senior Honors Thesis

Yesterday afternoon, Clarissa successfully defended her senior honors thesis! For her senior thesis project, Clarissa showed that sex-specific and seasonal changes in gut microbiome composition are associated with aggressive behavior in male and female hamsters. This presentation was the culmination of several years of research that Clarissa conducted in the Demas lab. Congratulations, Clarissa!

Kat Gives Oral Presentation at SICB 2019 and is Awarded Grant-in-Aid of Research

This past weekend, Kat presented her research and co-chaired a session at the 2019 Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) annual meeting in Tampa, Florida! During her talk, Kat discussed her recent findings on the role of melatonin in mediating seasonal transitions in circulating androgen profiles and aggressive behavior in male Siberian hamsters. In addition, Kat was selected to receive a SICB Grant-in-Aid of Research, which provides supplemental funding for graduate students in support of their research in the fields of integrative and comparative biology. Congratulations, Kat!

Clarissa and Kristyn Publish Review in IU Journal of Undergraduate Research

Clarissa and Kristyn’s review on sexual dimorphism in the gut microbiome was recently published in the Indiana University Journal of Undergraduate Research! In this review, Clarissa and Kristyn discuss how the composition of the gut microbiome and affiliated behaviors and health disorders differ between males and females and address the potential mechanisms that may underlie these sex differences.

A link to the manuscript can be found under the “Publications” page and can also be accessed here.

Image credit: University of California Los Angeles Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience.

Kim Publishes Manuscript in Journal of Experimental Biology

Former Demas lab undergraduate student Kim Long’s manuscript on the effects of acute immune activation on kisspeptin-induced reproductive hormone release was recently published in the Journal of Experimental Biology! Kim conducted this research for her undergraduate honors thesis and was mentored by former Demas lab graduate students Alison Bailey and Tim Greives. In this study, Kim showed that a single treatment of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is sufficient to block kisspeptin-induced increases in circulating testosterone levels, but does not affect circulating luteinizing hormone levels. Together, Kim’s findings suggest that acute LPS exposure rapidly reduces gonadal sensitivity to HPG stimulation which, in turn, inhibits gonadal steroid release.

A link to the manuscript can be found under the “Publications” page and can also be accessed here.

Image credit: Wahab et al. 2018 (Frontiers in Endocrinology)

Kristyn Publishes Manuscript in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity

Former Demas lab graduate student Kristyn’s manuscript on the consequences of early-life immune activation on the gut microbiome and same-sex social behavior following antibiotic treatment in adulthood was recently published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity! In this study, Kristyn showed that LPS-treated males exhibit more robust changes in behavior following antibiotic treatment as adults than LPS-treated females, suggesting that males may be more vulnerable to behavioral abnormalities following an early-life immune challenge.

A link for the manuscript can be found under the “Publications” page and can also be accessed here. In addition, the manuscript was chosen by the editors of BBI to be featured in a commentary, which can also be found under our website’s “Publications” page.

Image credit: McMaster University

Kat and Greg attend ICN 2018

This week, Kat and Greg attended the 2018 International Congress of Neuroendocrinology in Toronto, Canada! This meeting takes place once every four years and is sponsored by six neuroendocrine research societies from across the globe, including the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology. On Sunday and Monday, Kat gave a poster presentation, in which she discussed the effects of photoperiod and melatonin administration on circulating and neural androgen levels in male Siberian hamsters. Way to go!

Welcome REU Students!

This summer, the Demas lab is hosting two students from the Center for the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program: Desirée Nieves and Ayley Shortridge.  Desirée is a senior at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez majoring in Animal Science, and she is interested in pursuing a career in animal conservation or veterinary medicine.  Ayley is a rising junior at Michigan State University majoring in Environmental Biology and Zoology, and she would like to attend graduate school and pursue a career in research after completing her undergraduate studies.  Welcome, Desirée and Ayley!

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