Alexandra B. Bentz
Ph.D., University of Georgia, 2017
M.S., Appalachian State University, 2012
B.S., Appalachian State University, 2010
Research in my lab broadly focuses on how social experiences are encoded into organismal function, leading to long-term changes in physiology and behavior both within and across generations. I use experimental and observational approaches in the field and the lab that integrate tools from behavioral endocrinology and genomics across scales, from the molecular to the evolutionary. This work primarily occurs in free-living songbirds to explore how these processes function in dynamic social environments.
My current research interests are focused on the links between the maternal social environment and transgenerational plasticity. A female’s response to her environment can have lasting phenotypic consequences for her offspring through the transfer of maternal hormones. My lab is exploring the environmental and evolutionary factors that influence how females respond to social competition and the molecular mechanisms that facilitate the ensuing phenotypic plasticity within them and their offspring. I am especially interested in exploring the genomic and epigenomic mechanisms that generate this plasticity.