Morgan Benowitz-Fredericks

Morgan Benowitz-Fredericks

Associate Professor of Biology
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Professor Benowitz-Fredericks teaches in the Department of Biology and the Animal Behavior Program.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., University of Washington
  • B.S., University of California


  • Non-majors Organismal Biology (Bio 122)
  • Introduction to Molecules & Cells (Bio 205)
  • Animal Behavior (Bio 266)
  • Tropical Marine Ecology (Bio 245; summer)
  • Endocrinology (Bio 328)

Research interests

I am interested how hormones both constrain and enable birds (and other animals) to respond to their environment. The endocrine system integrates external and internal cues to orchestrate developmental, physiological and behavioral changes, but it is very sensitive to conditions during development. I am particularly interested in they ways in which conditions early in development permanently affect the endocrine system and therefore the behavior and physiology of birds.

Selected Publications

* indicates student author

  • 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.
  • Dorresteijn, I., Kitaysky, A.S., Barger, C., Benowitz-Fredericks, Z.M, Byrd, G.V., Shultz, M.T. & Young, R. 2012. Climate variability affects food availability to planktivorous least auklets, Aethia pusilla, through physical processes in the southeastern Bering Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 454, 207-220.
  • A.S. Kitaysky, J. F. Piatt, S.A. Hatch, E.V. Kitaiskaia, ZM. Benowitz-Fredericks, M.T. Shultz, J.C. Wingfield, 2010. Food availability and population processes: severity of nutritional stress during reproduction predicts survival of long-lived seabirds. Functional Ecology, 24 (3) 625-63.
  • Addison, B. A., ZM. Benowitz-Fredericks, J. M. Hipfner and A. S. Kitaysky, 2008. Are yolk androgens adjusted to environmental conditions? A test in two seabirds that lay single-egg clutches. General and Comparative Endocrinology,158 (1). 5-9.