Skip To Navigation Skip To Content

Faculty and Research

Faculty Member

Alexandra Bentz

Alexandra B. Bentz

Assistant Professor of Biology Richards Hall 108 Ph.D. - University of Georgia, 2017


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.

Selected Publications:

Bentz, A. B., Empson, T. A., George, E. M., Rusch, D. B., Buechlein, A., and Rosvall, K. A. (2022) How experimental competition changes ovarian gene activity in free-living birds: Implications for steroidogenesis, maternal effects, and beyond. Hormones and Behavior 142: 105171.

George, E. M., Wolf, S. E., Bentz, A. B., and Rosvall, K. A. (2022) Testing hormonal responses to real and simulated social challenges in a competitive female bird. Behavioral Ecology 33: 233-244.

Bentz, A. B., George, E. M., Wolf, S. E., Rusch, D. B., Podicheti, R., Buechlein, A., Nephew, K. P., and Rosvall, K.A. (2021) Experimental competition induces immediate and lasting effects on the neurogenome in free-living female birds. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118: e201615411.

Bentz, A. B., Niederhuth, C. E., Carruth, L. L., and Navara, K. J. (2021) Prenatal testosterone triggers long-term behavioral changes in male zebra finches: unravelling the neurogenomic mechanisms. BMC Genomics: 22: 158.

Rosvall, K. A., Bentz, A. B., and George, E. (2020) How research on female vertebrates contributes to an expanded challenge hypothesis. Hormones and Behavior 123: 104565.

Bentz, A. B., Rusch, D. B., Buechlein, A., and Rosvall, K. A. (2019) The neurogenomic transition from territory establishment to parenting in a territorial female songbird. BMC Genomics 20: 819.

Bentz, A. B., Thomas, G. W. C., Rusch, D. B., and Rosvall K. A. (2019) Tissue-specific expression profiles and positive selection analysis in the tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) using a de novo transcriptome assembly. Scientific Reports 9: 15849.

Bentz, A. B., Philippi, K. J., and Rosvall, K. A. (2019) Evaluating seasonal patterns of female aggression: case study in a cavity-nesting bird with intense female-female competition. Ethology 125: 555-564.

Bentz, A. B., Dossey, E. K., and Rosvall, K. A. (2019) Tissue-specific gene regulation corresponds with seasonal plasticity in female testosterone and aggression. General and Comparative Endocrinology 270: 26-34.

Bentz, A. B., Sirman, A. E., Wada, H., Navara, K. J., and Hood, W. (2016) Relationship between maternal environment and DNA methylation patterns of estrogen receptor alpha in wild Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) nestlings: a pilot study. Ecology and Evolution 6: 4741-4752.