Mark Haussmann

Mark Haussmann

Professor of Biology
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Professor Haussmann teaches in the Department of Biology and in the Neuroscience Program.

Educational Background

  • B.S. Wartburg College, 1997
  • M.S. Iowa State University, 2000
  • Ph.D. Iowa State University, 2005

Teaching Interests

  • Animal physiology (biomedical, ecological, evolutionary)
  • Biology of aging
  • Organismal biology

Research Interests

My interests in biology are diverse and as an integrative biologist my research draws from physiology, ecology, evolution and molecular biology. In my lab we study the physiological and molecular underpinnings of aging and how these traits influence survival and lifespan.

Our current work is exploring how stress impacts the aging process. We recently found that prenatal stress (or stress that a fetus experiences due to their mother's stress level) can affect the rate of cellular aging.

Selected Publications


(undergraduate authors are shown in bold)

R.C. Young, C.P. Barger, I. Dorresteijm, M.F. Haussmann, & A.S. Kitaysky. 2016. Telomere length and environmental conditions predict stress levels but not parental investment in a long-lived seabird. Marine Ecology Press Series. 556: 251-259.

R. Dakin, J.Q. Ouyang, A.Z. Lendvai, M.F. Haussmann, I.T. Moore, & F. Bonier. 2016. Weather matters: begging calls are temperature- and size-dependent signals of offspring state. Behaviour. 153:8 871-891.

J.Q. Ouyang, A.Z. Lendvai, I.T. Moore, F. Bonier, & M.F. Haussmann. 2016. Do Hormones, Telomere Lengths, and Oxidative Stress form an Integrated Phenotype? A Case Study in Free-Living Tree Swallows. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 56(4). DOI 10.1093/icb/icw044

N.M. Marchetto, R.A. Glynn, M.L. Ferry, M. Ostojic, S.M. Wolff, R. Yao, & M.F. Haussmann, 2016. Prenatal stress and newborn telomere length. 215(1):94.e1-8. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

J.Q. Ouyang, A.Z. Lendvai, R. Dakin, A.D. Domalik, V.J. Fasanello, B.G. Vassallo, M.F. Haussmann, I.T. Moore, & F. Bonier. 2015. Weathering the storm: parental effort and experimental manipulation of stress hormones predict brood survival. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 15:219. DOI 10.1186/s12862-015-0497-8

P. Monaghan & M.F. Haussmann. 2015. The positive and negative consequences of stressors during early life. Early Human Development (Neonatal Update) 91(11): 643-647.

Haussmann M.F. & B.J. Heidinger. 2015. Do telomere dynamics underlie the link between stress exposure and ageing across generations? Biology Letters 11:20150396.

K.L.Fletcher, B.N. Whitley, L.A. Treidel, D. Thompson, A. Williams, J. Noguera, J.A. Stevenson, & M.F. Haussmann. 2015. Voluntary locomotor activity mitigates oxidative damage associated with isolation stress in the Prairie Vole (Microtus ochrogaster). Biology Letters 11:20150178.

N. Lewin, L.A. Treidel, K.E. Holekamp, N. Place, & M.F. Haussmann. 2015. Socioecological variables predict telomere length in wild spotted hyenas. Biology Letters. 11:20140991.

A.Z. Lendvai, C. Akcay, T. Weiss, M.F. Haussmann, I.T. Moore, & F. Bonier. 2015. Low cost audiovisual playback recording triggered by radio frequency identification using Raspberry Pi. PeerJ. DOI 10.7717/peerj.877

K. Wilsterman, A.D. Mast, T.H. Luu, & M.F. Haussmann. 2015. The timing of embryonic exposure to elevated temperature alters stress endocrinology in domestic chickens (Gallus domesticus). General and Comparative Endocrinology. 212:10-16.

Hau, M., M.F. Haussmann, T.J. Grieves, C. Matlack, D. Costantini, M. Quetting, J.S.Adelman, A.C. Miranda, & J. Partecke. 2015. Repeated stressors in adulthood increase the rate of biological ageing. Frontiers in Zoology. 12(4):1-10.

V.J. Fasanello, E.D. Carlton, M. Pott, N.M. Marchetto, E. Vaughn, K.J. McGraw, R.A. Mauck, & M.F. Haussmann. 2015. Monomorphic ornamentation related to oxidative damage and assortative mating in the Black Guillemot (Cepphus grylle). Waterbirds. 38(1):106-110.

M.E. Gilmour, C,R. Lattin, L.M. Romero, M.F. Haussmann, R.A. Mauck, & D.C. Dearborn. 2015. Finding the best predictor of reproductive performance of Leach’s Storm-Petrels. The Auk: Ornithological Advances. 132: 191-205.

B.G. Vassallo, R.T. Paitz, V.J. Fasanello, & M.F. Haussmann. 2014. Glucocorticoid metabolism in the in ovo environment modulates exposure to maternal corticosterone in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica). Biology Letters 10: 20140502.

A.Z. Lendvai, J.Q. Ouyang, L.A. Schoenle, V.J. Fasanello, M.F. Haussmann, F. Bonier, & I.T. Moore. 2014. Experimental food restriction reveals individual differences in corticosterone reaction norms with no oxidative costs. PLOS One. 9(11): e110564.

D.H. Nussey, D. Baird, E. Barrett, W. Boner, J. Fairlie, N. Gemmell, N. Hartmann, T. Horn, M.F. Haussmann, M. Olsson, C. Turbill, S. Verhulst, S. Zahn, P. Monaghan. 2014. Measuring telomere length and telomere dynamics in evolutionary biology and ecology. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 5: 299-310.

L.A. Treidel, B.N. Whitley, Z.M. Benowitz-Fredericks, & M.F. Haussmann. 2013. Prenatal exposure to testosterone impairs oxidative damage repair efficiency in the domestic chicken (Gallus gallus). Biology Letters 9(5) 20130684.

R.C. Young, A.S. Kitaysky, M.F. Haussmann, S. Descamps, R.A. Orben, K.H. Elliott, & A.J. Gaston. 2013. Age, sex, and telomere dynamics in a long-lived seabird with male-biased parental care. PLOS ONE: 8(9): e74931.

E. López de Abechuco, M. Soto, M.A. Pardo, M.F. Haussmann, & Díez, G. 2013. Suitability of realtime quantitative PCR to estimate the relative telomere length in European Hake (Merluccius merluccius Linnaeus, 1758). Revista de Investigación Marina, AZTI-Tecnalia, 20(3): 29-36.

M.F. Haussmann, A.S. Longenecker, N.M. Marchetto, S.A. Juliano, and R.M. Bowden. 2012. Embryonic exposure to corticosterone modifies the juvenile stress response, oxidative stress, and telomere length. Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biology, 279(1732): 1447-1456.

M.F. Haussmann, H.M. Salomons, & S. Verhulst. 2011. Telomere measurement tools: Telometric produces biased estimates of telomere length. Heredity. 107, 371-371.

R.A. Mauck, J.L. Zangmeister, J. Cerchiara, C.E. Huntington, & M.F. Haussmann. 2011. Male-biased reproductive effort in a long-lived seabird. Evolutionary Ecology Research,13(1):19-33.

C.R. Freeman-Gallant, J. Amidon, B. Berdy, S. Wein, C.C. Taff, & M.F. Haussmann. 2011. Oxidative damage to DNA related to survivorship and carotenoid-based sexual ornamentation in the common yellowthroat. Biology Letters, 7:429-432. DOI: 10.1098/ rsbl.2010.1186.

M.F. Haussmann, & N.M. Marchetto. 2010. Telomeres: Linking stress and survival, ecology and evolution. Current Zoology, 56(6):714-727.

J.L. Zangmeister, M.F. Haussmann, J. Cerchiara, & R.A. Mauck. 2009. Incubation success and nest attendance: combining PIT and nest-temperature data reveals individual-specific behavior in Leach’s storm-petrels. Journal of Field Ornithology, 80(4): 373-379. DOI: 10.1111/ j.1557-9263.2009.00243.x.

H.M. Salomons, G.A. Mulder, L. van de Zande, M.F. Haussmann, M.H.K. Linskens, & S. Verhulst. 2009. Telomere shortening and survival in free-living corvids. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences, 276:3157-3165. DOI 10.1098/rspb.2009.0517.

Haussmann, M.F. & R.A. Mauck. 2008. Telomeres and longevity: testing an evolutinary hypothesis. Molecular Biology and Evolution 25: 220-228.

Haussmann, M.F. & R.A. Mauck. 2008. New strategies for telomere-based age estimation. Molecular Ecology Notes 8(2): 264-274.


M.F. Haussmann, D.W. Winkler, C.E. Huntington, I.C.T. Nisbet, & C.M. Vleck. 2007. Telomerase activity is maintained throughout the lifespan of long-lived birds. Experimental Gerontology 42:610-618. DOI:10.1016/j.exger.2007.03.004.

M.F. Haussmann, C.M. Vleck, & E.S. Farrar. 2007. A laboratory protocol for stress assessment in undergraduate students using a cortisol ELISA. Advances in Physiology Education 31: 110-115. DOI:10.1152/advan.00058.2006.

C.M. Vleck, M.F. Haussmann, & D. Vleck. 2007. Avian senescence: underlying mechanisms. Journal of Ornithology. 148: 611-624. DOI 10.1007/s10336-007-0186-5.

P. Monaghan & M.F. Haussmann. 2006. Telomere dynamics: Linking lifestyle and lifespan? Trends in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology (TREE). 21(1):47-53.

F.A. Juola, M.F. Haussmann, D.C. Dearborn, & C.M. Vleck. 2006. Telomeres provide insight into lifespan and age structure of a long-lived marine bird. The Auk 123(3): 775-783.

N. Scott, M.F. Haussmann, C.M. Vleck, & R. Elsey. 2006. The relationship between telomere length and body length in Alligator mississippiensis. Southeastern Naturalist 5(4):685-692.

M.F. Haussmann, D.W. Winkler, & C.M. Vleck. 2005. Longer telomeres associated with higher survival in birds. 2005. Biology Letters 1(2):212-214. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2005.0301.

M.F. Haussmann, D.W. Winkler, C.E. Huntington, D. Vleck, C.E. SannemanD. Hanley & C.M. Vleck. 2005. Cell-mediated immunosenescence in birds. Oecologia 145(2):270-275. DOI: 10.1007/s00442-005-0123-3.

M.F. Haussmann, D.W. Winkler., C.E. Huntington, I.C.T. Nisbet, & C.M. Vleck. 2004. Telomerase expression is differentially regulated in birds of differing life span. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1019:186-190.

M.F. Haussmann, D.W. Winkler, K.M. O'Reilly, C.E. Huntington, I.C.T. Nisbet, & C.M. Vleck. 2003. Telomeres shorten more slowly in long-lived birds and mammals than in short-lived ones. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences, 270(1522):1387-1392. DOI 10.1098/rspb.2003.2385.

M.F. Haussmann, C.M. Vleck, & I.C.T. Nisbet. 2003. Calibrating the telomere clock in common terns, Sterna hirundo. Experimental Gerontology, 38(7):787-790.

C.M. Vleck, M.F. Haussmann, & D. Vleck. 2003. The natural history of telomeres: tools for aging animals and exploring the aging process. Experimental Gerontology, 38(7):791-796.

M.F. Haussmann & C.M. Vleck. 2001. Telomere length provides a new technique for aging animals. Oecologia, 130(3):325-328.

M.F. Haussmann, J.A. Carroll, G.D. Weesner, M.J. Daniels, & D.C. Lay, Jr. 2000. Administration of adrenocorticotropic hormone to pregnant sows alters their pigs’ hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Journal of Animal Science, 78(9):2399 411.

M.F. Haussmann, M.J. Daniels, & D.C. Lay, Jr. 2000. Consideration of piglet behavior may allow alterations in sow housing to increase both piglet and sow welfare. Proceedings of Swine Housing, 1:126-132.

D.C. Lay, Jr., M.F. Haussmann, M.J. Daniels, J.D. Harmon, & T.L. Richard. 2000. Swine housing impacts on environment and behavior: A comparison between hoop structures and total environmental control. Proceedings of Swine Housing, 1:49-53.

D.C. Lay, Jr., & M.F. Haussmann. 2000. Hoop housing for feeder pigs offers a welfare friendly environment compared to a nonbedded confinement system. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 3(1):33-48.

M.F. Haussmann, D.C. Lay, Jr., H.S. Buchanan, & J.G. Hopper. 1999. Butorphanol tartrate acts to decrease sow activity which may lead to reduced piglet crushing. Journal of Animal Science, 77(8):2054 2059.

Lay, D.C., Jr., H.S. Buchanan, & M.F. Haussmann. 1999. A note on simulating the `observer effect' using constant photoperiod on nursery pigs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 63(4):301 309.

D.C. Lay, Jr., M.F. Haussmann, H.S. Buchanan & M.J. Daniels. 1999. Danger to piglets due to crushing can be reduced by the use of a simulated udder. Journal of Animal Science, 77(8):2060 2064.

N.J. Biensen, M.F. Haussmann, D.C. Lay, Jr., L.L. Christian, & S.P. Ford. 1999. The relationship between placental and piglet birth weights and growth traits. Animal Science, 68:709-715.