Kat Mentors Undergraduate Students for CISAB REU Program

This summer, I am co-mentoring two undergraduate students with my labmate Beth through 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 Ayley is a rising junior at Michigan State University majoring in Environmental Biology and Zoology.

Desirée and Ayley are conducting a collaborative study on the neuroendocrine modulation of social behavior following fecal transplantation in Siberian hamsters. More specifically, Desirée’s project examines the potential roles of testosterone and estradiol in facilitating changes in aggressive behavior in animals receiving fecal transplants, while Ayley’s project investigates whether fecal transplantation alters anxiety-like behavior and glucocorticoid levels, both peripherally and centrally.  I am looking forward to working with these wonderful ladies for the rest of the summer and seeing the results of their innovative projects!

Featured image: me, my labmate Beth, and our REU students Desirée and Ayley take a short break from scoring behavior videos for a picture with the celebratory hamster that Ayley drew on our whiteboard! Left to right: me, Desirée, Ayley, and Beth.

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