Physiological ecology of development, reproduction, longevity, and performance


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News and Happenings:

Our symposium at SICB went well. Thanks to all of our presenters and Karine Salin for doing the lion's share of the work getting it together. Everyone in the lab did a great job with their presentations.  

This month we welcome a new post-doc, Kristjan Niitepold.  Kristjan joins us from Finland and has a strong background in measures of whole animal metabolism and life history.  We're thrilled to have him on board.

   The Hood lab at Auburn University is looking to recruit two grad students (Ph.D. preferred) for fall 2018 to evaluate the role that mitochondria, oxidative stress, and the intracellular stress response play in variation in reproductive fitness and longevity of animals. Students will be expected to work on our wild-derived house mouse or deer mouse models. Please review our publications ( and the abstracts of our funded projects ( to learn more research in our lab.

   The research will be support by 1 of 2 NSF’s grants to Hood. Our lab works closely with an established expert on mitochondrial function, Dr. Andreas Kavazis in the Dept. of Kinesiology at Auburn, Dr. Geoff Hill in the Dept. of Biological Sciences who is interested in mitonuclear interactions, sexual selection, and speciation, and Dr. Hippokratis Kiaris in the School of Pharmacy, University of South Carolina who is an expert on the...

We have won an NSF ESPCoR award in collaboration with Dr. Hippokratis Kiaris at USC in for our project entitled 'Genome to fitness: An analysis of the stress response in Peromyscus'  This award will allow us to support two grad students and a post-doc over the next four years.  Our research will focus on understanding the impact of genetic variation in the unfolded protein response on the reproductive fitness and mitochondrial performance of deer mice. 

Postdoctoral Fellow in Evolutionary Physiology at Auburn University


The Hood lab at Auburn University is hiring 2 post-doctoral scholars to 1) evaluate the role of oxidative stress and mitochondrial function in life history tradeoffs and 2) evaluate the effects of genetic variation in the intracellular stress response on reproductive fitness and mitochondrial performance. Projects will be completed in wild-derived house mice and deer mice, respectively. Both projects are funded by the National Science Foundation. A strong background in ecology/evolutionary biology and physiology and excellent communication, organizational, and leadership skills are required. Applicants with strong lab skills will be given preference. Preferred skills include isolating mitochondria and measuring mitochondrial respiration, running western blots, and performing elisa’s. Post-docs will be expected to assist with training graduate students in the lab, develop synergistic projects, write grants...

Alex Conte Santos successfully defended her MS thesis titled 'What do we really know about oxidative stress? Facing the problems with current oxidative stress studies in passerine birds' last month and will graduate this weekend.  Congrats Alex!


In addition, we welcome 3 new grad students, Halie Taylor, Tori Andreasen, and Kyle Heine.  In addition welcome Ashley Williams, who will be doing a rotation in the lab this fall and welcome MaKalea Kirkland, who is our new animal tech. 


And, congrats to Yufeng Zhang and Christine Kallenberg on the publication of their work: 'Change in the Lipid Transport Capacity of the Liver and Blood during Reproduction in Rats'. Find the ms under publications.

The position below has been filled.


The Hood Lab in Biological Sciences is looking to hire a full-time animal technician. The technician will oversee the care of wild-derived house mice, and deer mice maintained in standard boxes and semi-natural enclosures. The technician will be expected to oversee the daily care of the animals - managing a team of undergraduate assistants, maintaining breeding records, and helping with facility maintenance and minor modifications to the facility, as needed. Competitive applicants will be energetic, have strong organizational skills, excellent leadership potential, and a flexible schedule (hours will vary and include weekends during busy periods). This is an excellent position for a recent graduate who is looking to use this work as a stepping-stone to graduate school in organismal biology or veterinary school. The position will initially be temporary. The position will end and re-open as a full-time position with benefits in the fall. Applica...

Dr. Karine Salin and I (Wendy Hood) are organizing a symposium for Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting Jan 3-7, 2018 in San Francisco, CA.  The symposium is titled:  ‘Inside the black box: the mitochondrial basis of life-history variation and animal performance.'  


The webpage for the symposium can be found at

We have a great line up of speakers; I hope you can join us.

We had a great showing at SICB in New Orleans this year.


We had 2 undergrads presenting posters:  Adam Brasher presented  'Does relative activity prior to breeding improve mitochondrial function and oxidative damage following a reproductive event?' and Christine Kallenberg presented 'Reproductive effects on lipid transport capacity in liver and blood in rats'. 


Grad student Chloe Josefson also presented a poster 'Using phenotypic variation in the lab mouse to deduce physiological variables that correlate with life history variation'.  


And post-doc Dr. Yufeng Zhang and I (Wendy Hood) gave oral presentations.  Zhang: 'The mitohormetic response and an evaluation of a method for inducing oxidative damage' and Hood ' The mitohormetic response and an evaluation of a method for inducing oxidative damage.'


Adam was even interviewed by Science while standing at his poster

     The Hood lab at Auburn University is looking to recruit 2 grad students (Ph.D. preferred) for fall 2017 to evaluate the role that mitochondria play in variation in reproductive fitness and longevity of animals. Students may work on our wild-derived house mouse model or alternate species.

     The project is supported by a 5-year NSF CAREER award to Hood. Our lab works closely with an established expert on mitochondrial function, Dr. Andreas Kavazis in the Dept. of Kinesiology at Auburn and a lab with an emerging interest in mitonuclear interaction and sexual selection, Dr. Geoff Hill, Dept. of Biological Sciences. Please review the papers listed below and the abstracts of our funded projects ( to learn more about future directions of our lab.

     Interested applicants should send an email to Dr. Wendy Hood at In the email, please include a description of prior research experienc...

A new academic year is about to start at Auburn and we have exciting news to start the semester.  

Our first two mitochondria papers have been accepted for publication and will be available soon, including an empirical and a review paper:

  • Mowry, Kavazis, Sirman, Potts, Hood. Reproduction does not adversely affect liver mitochondrial respiratory function but results in lipid peroxidation and increased antioxidants in house mice.  PLoS One -- 8/18/16 NOW AVAILABLE

  • Zhang and Hood.  Current versus future reproduction and longevity: a re-evaluation of predictions and mechanisms.  Journal of Experimental Biology

In other news, we welcome Noel Park who has just joined the lab as a PhD student.  Noel completed her BS in Math and Biology at Brown University. 

And after more than a year of organizing as acting president, Wendy helped run the Comparative Nutrition Society meeting in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico Aug 8-12.  The meeting was a success!  Wendy presented her work on l...

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