As an undergraduate, I: 1) was responsible for extracting hundreds (perhaps thousands) of hormone samples in Panamanian bishops, guppies, cichlids, swordtails, and rivulus 2) ran PCR analysis of cytokine genes in the convict cichlid 3) successfully localized the glucocorticoid receptor gene in the cichlid 4) collaborated with Stephanie Wong on her graduate project by 'bedazzling' female cichlids and 5) implanted female cichlids with androgenic hormones. I also visited MD Anderson Cancer center to explore, in collaboration with Dr. Andre Fernandez and Dr. David Mitchell, the hormonal correlates of melanoma formation in swordtails. As a Howard Hughes Medical Institute fellow, I began preliminary work on a project on metabolic plasticity in the mangrove rivulus, and I am currently pursuing this project on a larger scale...
My master's research focuses primarily on how hormones mediate metabolic changes, within the context of life history stage, in response to 'stressful' environments using the mangrove rivulus, Kryptolebias marmoratus. This self-fertilizing, hermaphroditic species of fish lives in turbulent mangrove ecosystems and is frequently subjected to prolonged tidal recessions with limited food availability. Individuals of this species also exhibit a distinct age-dependent difference in reproductive output (the youngest animals produce the most eggs) leading me to wonder how animals of different ages would respond to environmental change. More specifically, I hope to explore how changes in tidal environment and food availability may drive age-dependent changes in 1) cortisol (stress hormone) 2) reproductive hormones (testosterone, 11-ketotestosterone, and estradiol) and 3) energy substrate usage. Most of the time you can find me in the lab but I am always willing to lend a hand for some field work; including most recently in the Florida mangroves! Contact: Email Amanda
- National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (awarded April 2011).
Do hormones drive metabolic and reproductive plasticity in tidal environments? A reaction norm approach in an amphibious fish.
Archard GA, Earley RL, Hanninen AF, & Braithwaite VA. 2011 Relationship between stress hormones and temperament within and between natural populations. Functional Ecology, in review.
Hanninen AF & Earley RL. Androgen responses to social challenge: sex differences despite genetic uniformity. Prepared for Current Biology.