ISU student to present research at national conference

June 6 2006

An Indiana State University student is one of only 15 from around the country awarded travel grants by the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology to present research at the society's national conference.

Maria Thaker, a doctoral student in the department of ecology and organismal biology, examined changes in the reproductive behavior of male tree lizards in response to the risk of predators.

Most vertebrate animals respond to stress by increasing levels of glucocorticosteroids, naturally occurring hormones, but few studies have examined the behavioral consequences of such increases.

Working with tree lizards in Arizona, Thaker found that all male lizards with increased levels of the hormones responded faster, hid longer and displayed more when exposed to a predator. She found that non-territorial males were more fearful than territorial males and were most sensitive to elevations in glucocorticoseroids.

Thaker's advisors at Indiana State are Diana Hews, associate professor and assistant chair of the department, and Steven Lima, professor. She will join students from such institutions as Duke, Indiana and Rutgers universities; State University of New York at Albany; and the universities of Louisville and Washington in making presentations at the conference June 17 - 20 in Pittsburgh.

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Contact: Diana Hews, associate professor and assistant chair, department of ecology and organismal biology, Indiana State University, (812) 237-8352 or dhews@isugw.indstate.edu

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Indiana State University, (812) 237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu

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Story Highlights

Maria Thaker, a doctoral student in ISU's department of ecology and organismal biology, is one of only 15 students from around the country awarded travel grants to present research at the national conference of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology. Thaker's research focuses on the reproductive behavior of male tree lizards in response to the risk of predators.

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