Kat Presents at ABC 2019

This past weekend, I presented my research at the 2019 Animal Behavior Conference! During my presentation, I discussed how seasonal changes in melatonin secretion alter circulating androgen profiles and aggressive behavior in male Siberian hamsters. Also, two of my undergraduate mentees, Sarah and John, both gave excellent presentations during this year’s poster session! I had…

Kat Advances to Candidacy

A few weeks ago, I passed the second part of my Qualifying Exam and advanced to candidacy! This is the last major milestone of my Ph.D. program before my dissertation defense. I look forward to continuing my research in the Demas Lab over the next few years!

Clarissa Defends Senior Honors Thesis

Yesterday afternoon, one of my undergraduate mentees, 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…

Kat Co-Chairs Session at SICB 2019 and is Awarded Grant-in-Aid of Research

This weekend, I presented my research and co-chaired the “Hormones and Behavior II: Everything but the Birds” session at the 2019 Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology annual meeting in Tampa, Florida! During this session, I discussed my recent findings on the role of melatonin in mediating seasonal transitions in circulating androgens and aggressive behavior…

Kat Presents at ICN 2018

On July 15, I had the pleasure of presenting my research at the 2018 International Congress of Neuroendocrinology in Toronto, Canada! Here, I discussed findings from the first study of my graduate career at IU, in which I investigated the effects of photoperiod and melatonin administration on circulating and neural androgen levels in male Siberian…

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…

2018 Foundations in Science and Mathematics Program

This June, I taught a two-week summer zoology course through Indiana University’s Foundations in Science and Mathematics (FSM) program for the second year in a row! The FSM program is organized and run entirely by current IU graduate students and offers summer classes to help local high school students prepare for upcoming science and mathematics…

Kat Publishes First Post as ScIU Writer

This past spring, I started writing for ScIU, a graduate student-run blog that discusses current events and cutting-edge science taking place at Indiana University​. My first post, which discusses my labmate Kristyn’s recent findings on the sex-specific effects of gut dysbiosis on the gut microbiome and behavior, was recently published on the blog! Click here…

Kat Presents at ABC 2018

On April 13, I had the pleasure of presenting a poster at the 2018 Animal Behavior Conference! My poster featured some of the findings of my current study, in which I examined the effects of photoperiod and melatonin administration on circulating and neural androgen levels in male Siberian hamsters. This project was part of a…

Mini-Review Published in Frontiers in Endocrinology

A mini-review that I wrote with my advisor Greg and former Demas lab graduate student Nikki Rendon has been accepted for publication in Frontiers in Endocrinology! This paper discusses evidence for a novel neuroendocrine pathway for territorial aggression in seasonally breeding animals, in which adrenal dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) serves as an important precursor for neural androgen synthesis…