Dr. Wendy R. Hood

Associate Professor



B.A.   Marine Biology, Univ of California, Santa Cruz

Ph.D. Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, Boston University



Office: 315 Rouse Life Science Bldg, 334-844-7437   

Lab: 308 Funchess Hall, 334-844-1694

Mail: 101 Rouse Life Science Bldg,  Auburn, AL 36849


Honors and Awards:  

2015: NSF CAREER Grant

2016: Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award


Science networking profiles:

   Google profile


About Wendy:

I became interested in understanding how and why condition and reproductive performance varies among individuals as an undergraduate observing the foraging and nursing patterns of Steller sea lions on a small island just off the coast of California.  I saw first hand that maternal effort can play a formative role in how fast pups grow and whether or not they survive.  Today, I continue to be fascinated by why life-history traits vary among individuals and how the environment and maternal effects contribute to these differences.


The questions that we address in my lab largely focus on the critical periods of growth, reproduction, and senescence. Differences in performance during these periods are intriguing because of their direct impacts on fitness.  I maintain an active laboratory with a post-doc, grad students and undergraduates.  You can learn more about the current research projects that we're working on in 'the Hood' under Research

Current Post-doctoral Fellow and Graduate Students

Dr. Jeff (Kang Nian) Yap

Post-doctoral fellow; started in January 2019


Research interests:

am an evolutionary and comparative physiologist interested in reproductive and exercise physiology.  My research generally addresses the following questions: 1) what are the underlying physiological mechanisms that allow individuals to have higher reproductive and exercise performance? 2) what are the potential costs of exercise and reproduction? and 3) what are the mechanisms underlying costs of exercise and reproduction (i.e. physiological costs)? My current research in the Hood lab aims to understand how individual variation in endoplasmic reticulum stress and mitochondrial physiology is associated with whole-organism physiology, as well as life-history traits.

Chloe Josefson

Ph.D. student, started at Auburn in 2013



B.S. Biology, University of South Florida

B.A. Psychology, University of South Florida


Thesis project:

Chloe's is studying the cost of reproduction.  Specifically, she mining the literature on lab mice to determine if there are physiological variables that contribute to variation in reproductive performance and longevity that have been missed in natural populations. She is evaluation how a female's allocation of resources to sons versus daughters changes with maternal age.  And, she is evaluating the effect of reproduction on the ability of females to respond to an immune challenge.  The latter 2 studies are being conducted in our wild-derived mice.



Kyle Heine

Ph.D. student, started at Auburn in 2017



B.S. Biological Sciences, University of New Orleans

M.S. Biological Sciences, University of New Orleans


Research interests:

My research interests lie at the crossroads of functional morphology and whole-organism performance. In particular, I’m interested in how mitochondrial behavior and morphology at the cellular level influence animal reproductive success and respiratory function. My current projects focus on how ultraviolet radiation and reproductive performance influence mitochondrial structure in copepod myocytes.




Ashley Williams

Ph.D. student, started at Auburn in 2017




Thesis project:




Shelby Zikeli

Ph.D. student, started at Auburn in 2018



B.S. Biological Sciences, minor Environmental Sciences, California University of Pennsylvania

M.S. Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University

Thesis project:

Currently, Shelby is working on understanding the links that may exist between animal behavior and underlying physiological processes like mitochondrial function, or ER stress. By studying animal personality, as well as individual variation in response and success she hopes to better illustrate these connections. Additionally, she is working to validate semi-natural enclosures as valuable tools for understanding variables in an ecological context.


Kaylene Yamada

Ph.D. student, started at Auburn in 2019





Thesis project:




Tori Andreasen

M.S. student, started at Auburn in 2017



B.S.'s in Avian Biology and Nutritional Sciences, University of Georgia


Thesis project:




Current Undergraduates

Students working on ongoing projects (fall 2019)

Josh Anderson

Jacob Abraham

Kirkland Bradshaw

Kaytlyn Carter

Catherine Christian

Breanna Caldwell

Jake Dennis

Elizabeth Clark

Jerry Garcia

Kelly Dorsey

Rachel Heard

Jack Harmon

Sam Lubor

Jordan Marquez

Daniel Jung

Victoria Tucker

Taylor Parsons

Meg McCalley

Angelica Thompson

Julia Watson

Kelly Brooke Wilson

Hood lab technician

MaKalea Kirkland
BS in Marine Biology, Auburn University


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