I am interested in how hormones both constrain and enable birds (and other animals) to respond to their environment, both during development and in adulthood. The endocrine system integrates external and internal cues to orchestrate developmental, physiological and behavioral changes, but it is very sensitive to conditions during development. My research explores the ways in which conditions early in development affect physiology and behavior, as well as how the endocrine system mediates responses to environmental fluctuations. Currently, I study seabirds called black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) at a remarkable field station on Middleton Island, in the Gulf of Alaska.
* indicates Bucknell undergraduate
*Simkins, J. W., *A. E. Joseph, F. Bonier, and Z. M. Benowitz-Fredericks. 2020. Prenatal aromatase inhibition alters postnatal immunity in domestic chickens (Gallus gallus). General and comparative endocrinology 113497.
Morales, A., Frei, B., Leung, C., Titman, R., Whelan, S., Benowitz-Fredericks, Z. M., & Elliott, K. H. 2019. Point-of-care blood analyzers measure the nutritional state of eighteen free-living bird species. Comparative Biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular & Integrative Physiology, 240, 110594-110594.
Z M. Benowitz-Fredericks, J. Schulter and A.S. Kitaysky. 2015. Effects of prenatal environment are revealed by post-natal challenges: Embryonic hormone exposure, adrenocortical function and food in seabird chicks. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 88 (6). 607-623.
Benowitz-Fredericks, Z.M. & *Hodge, M. 2013. Yolk androstenedione in domestic chicks (Gallus gallus domesticus): Uptake and sex-dependent alteration of growth and behavior. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 193, 48-55.
Benowitz-Fredericks, Z.M., Kitaysky, A.S., Welcker, J. & Hatch, S.A. 2013. Effects of food availability on yolk androgen deposition in the black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), a seabird with facultative brood reduction. PLoS ONE, 8(5), e62949. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0062949
*Treidel, L.B., *Whitley, B., Benowitz-Fredericks, Z.M., & Haussmann, M.F. 2013. Prenatal exposure to testosterone impairs oxidative damage repair efficiency in the domestic chicken (Gallus gallus). Biology Letters, 9(3), 20130684.