Earlier this month, Kat and Beth gave oral presentations at SICB 2020, the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, in Austin, Texas! Beth shared her recent findings on how maternal gut dysbiosis via antibiotic administration affects offspring behavior in Siberian hamsters. Kat was selected to compete for the Division of Comparative Endocrinology’s Aubrey Gorbman Award for Best Student Oral Presentation, where she discussed how melatonin modulates seasonal changes in neurosteroid levels and territorial aggression in male Siberian hamsters. Way to go, ladies!
On Saturday, members and friends of the lab gathered at Greg’s house for our annual Christmas party, featuring a delicious BBQ-themed meal and a fun white elephant gift exchange! From all of us at the Demas Lab, we wish you a wonderful holiday season!
Demas Lab undergraduate students Sarah and Eamonn were recently awarded Research Grants from IU’s Hutton Honors College to support their independent research projects! These grants are awarded each semester to exceptional IU undergraduate students to allow them to pursue serious academic inquiry, develop intellectual independence, and build research skills and techniques. Congratulations, Sarah and Eamonn!
Kat’s manuscript on the role of melatonin in mediating seasonal transitions in aggressive behavior and circulating androgen profiles was recently published in Hormones and Behavior! In this study, Kat showed that male hamsters given a long-term, short day (SD)-like melatonin signal, either via timed melatonin injections or exposure to a SD light cycle, elevate territorial aggression and reduce circulating androgen levels in response to an aggressive interaction. Together, these findings suggest that SD males transition from synthesis to metabolism of circulating androgens following an aggressive encounter, a response that is modulated by melatonin and culminates in increased aggression.
A link for the manuscript can be found under the “Publications” page and can also be accessed here.
Earlier this week, Kat presented a poster at Neuroscience 2019, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, in Chicago! At this conference, Kat discussed her recent findings on how seasonal variation in melatonin secretion alters neurosteroid profiles and aggressive behavior in male Siberian hamsters. Way to go!
Recently, Kat was featured on an episode of the Endocrine Disruptors Podcast! This podcast features interviews with scientists who study hormones and explores their journeys, identities, and research. In her interview, Kat discussed her research, including some cutting-edge techniques she is developing, and her journey to becoming a scientific researcher.
Last week, Ekelé presented a poster at the Indiana STEM LSAMP (IN LSAMP) Undergraduate Research Poster Session! This summer, Ekelé completed an independent research project, in which he investigated the effect of birthing method on the innate immune activity of one week old Siberian hamsters. Way to go!
For more information about the NSF-funded IN LSAMP program, visit their website here.
Last week, Kat and Jessica mentored two students, Kennedi and Ketura, for the Jim Holland Summer Science Research Program (SSRP)! This one-week program introduces high school students to scientific research by pairing them with a host lab in the Indiana University Department of Biology and giving them the opportunity to conduct an independent research project. Kennedi is a rising junior at the Hammond Academy of Science and Technology, and she investigated sex differences in seasonal aggression in male and female Siberian hamsters. Ketura is a rising junior at Bloomington High School South, and she examined the effects of birthing method on maternal care in Siberian hamsters. Way to go, ladies!
For more information about the Jim Holland SSRP program, visit their website here.
This year, the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology’s annual meeting was held in our hometown of Bloomington, Indiana! Greg was the chair of the host committee and was a huge part of making this meeting so successful. In addition, both Kat and Beth presented posters at SBN 2019. Way to go, everyone!
In April, Clarissa received the Biology Undergraduate Research Award and the Fox Glen Research and Education Fund Award from the Department of Biology! The Biology Undergraduate Research Award is given annually for the best research paper written by an undergraduate student, and the Fox Glen Research and Education Fund Award is given annually to an undergraduate student participating in scientific research. Congratulations, Clarissa!
Image credit: Sandee Milhouse Photography.