Current Research

I am broadly interested in the interactions between physiology and socioecological variables. Specifically, I am interested in proximate mediation of life history traits and trade-offs in social species.

For my dissertation research, I will test hypotheses using the spotted hyena ( Crocuta crocuta ) as my model organism. I will be working with the Mara Hyena Project started and led by Dr. Kay Holekamp since 1988. Based out of the Masai Mara National Reserve in southwestern Kenya, the Mara Hyena Project continues to collect daily observations of focal study populations as well surrounding ecological and demographic data. What’s more, we know a great deal about individual physiology and fitness thanks to routine immobilizations and long-term observations.

Current projects:

  • Socioecological variables predict telomere length in wild spotted hyenas. Biology Letters in press
  • Early life IGF-1 concentrations predict life-history traits in wild spotted hyenas. submitted
  • Correlates of variation in IGF-1 concentrations in wild spotted hyenas. in prep

This work is supported by NSF and Michigan State University