From hormones to El Niño: an integrative approach to understand how animals live and survive
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC | A presentation by Blake Jones, Ph.D: From hormones to El Niño: an integrative approach to understand how animals live and survive
Description: The life of a wild animal is complicated. Individuals often experience a myriad of environmental changes across time, space, and social contexts. In order to survive, organisms must respond adaptively to these changes. As, such my research program explores how animals integrate information from the social and ecological environments to produce complex behaviors. Specifically, I investigate how physiological mechanisms mediate sociality, cognition, and life-history transitions. For example, my work has found that hormones associated with the physiological stress response influence how free-living birds learn and remember the dangers of novel predators. Additionally, my research has revealed that global climate influences how young birds develop and survive in the tropics. Further exploration of early life conditions has led me to discover that a proxy for environmental stress during development predicts future social status in a cooperative avian species. As ecosystems around the globe change, my research will continue to investigate the underpinning mechanisms that allow animals to live in a complex world.