I really enjoyed listening to everyone’s talk this week! I learned a lot about neural circuitry, oxidative stress, and even the work that goes into gRNA design! One project that really stood out to me was Christine’s, titled: Identifying differences in Stress between Alpha and Low-Ranking male Baboons. Specifically, Christine is looking at whether or not the alpha and the low-ranking male baboons experience different sources of stress. I think what I really like about this project is the fact that it incorporates both a psychological and a biological perspective in addressing this question. Furthermore, I can really see the direct application this study will have on humans in terms of understanding stress and factors that cause it.
From my understanding, Christine’s hypothesis is that the alpha and the low-ranking male baboons do experience different forms of stress: with the alpha experiencing energetic stress and the low-ranking baboons experiencing psychosocial stress. When comparing the two baboons, she expects the alpha male to have lower levels of triiodothyronine because energetic stress suppresses this hormone. Last spring, I took an introductory neuroscience class, and we learned about the hormonal response to stress, and I think that it is awesome that Christine is applying her knowledge of this response to stress to understand how it is affected across different types of stress (psychosocial, energetic, etc.)
I think Christine was very clear in her explanation of her project, which I find to be really important in presenting a project because if you can’t convey your message in easy-to-understand words, what’s the point? She delivered her presentation in such a way that someone who is not in her field would understand it perfectly.