Meeting Abstract

S6-1.2  Sunday, Jan. 6  Integrating environmental signals for reproductive timing PERFITO, Nicole*; CALISI, Rebecca; HAU, Michaela; BENTLEY, George E.; Univ. of California, Berkeley; Univ. of California, Davis; Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Germany; Univ. of California, Berkeley nperfito@berkeley.edu

Most animals are required to respond to a changing environment on a daily and seasonal basis to survive and produce young successfully. In order to match internal physiology with external requirements for survival and reproduction, animals have evolved systems that allow them to anticipate and respond to changing environmental conditions. The neuroendocrine system represents the critical relay between transduction of environmental cues via sensory systems into functional changes in physiology, morphology and behavior. In order to understand how climate change impacts this process of matching internal physiology with the external environment, we must first better understand which environmental cues are relevant and how they are transduced within an animal. I will discuss how environmental cues related to activation of the reproductive system for breeding (and specifically in female birds for egg laying) elicit changes in gene expression in the brain and in peripheral tissues. Further, I will demonstrate how a single cue provided to a single species can have different effects depending on gender and on population.