We are in the process of building the lab, since we recently moved to the University of Arkansas

Sarah DuRant, PhD


Sarah completed her Master's in 2006 and PhD in 2011 at Virginia Tech, then spent two years as a post doc at Tufts University.  Sarah's research has focused on the influence of environmental stimuli on physiological traits that have implications for fitness. Her early career focused on the effects of contaminants (e.g., heavy metals, acetlycholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides) on reproduction, locomotor performance, and energy expenditure in amphibians and reptiles. More recently, her research has shifted to parental effects, understanding how the developmental environment shapes offpsring phenotype and what implications this has for parent and offspring fitness. In addition, she's been investigating the interplay between stress physiology and immune responses in birds.


Here's Sarah returning a female Wood Duck to her nest box.





Ashley Love, PhD Student


Ashley completed her undergraduate degree at Virginia Tech. While there, she conducted research in Dr. Dana Hawley’s lab examining how changes in stress hormone levels interact with the innate immune response in house finches during the course of an infection with the bacterium Mycoplasma gallisepticum. Most recently, her research focus has shifted towards maternal effects. At OSU she is investigating how maternal exposure to disease impacts offspring variation in immune responses. Ashley will also be examining several potential mechanisms through which females can manipulate offspring phenotype in response to infection.


Ashley holding a Red-Tailed Hawk captured in Jet, Oklahoma



View Ashley's website here


Meet the members of the DuRant Lab!

Stillwater, Oklahoma

Chris Goodchild, PhD Student


Chris is an Oklahoma native and graduated with a B.S in Zoology and Biomedical Sciences from the University of Oklahoma in 2011. Following his B.S., Chris headed to the northeast where he completed his M.S. titled “Application of a bioenergetics approach for assessing sublethal stress of aquatic contaminants in the freshwater mussel Elliptio complanata” at the University of New England in 2014. Chris’ research investigates the physiological effects of environmental contaminants on a variety of organisms and aims to establish mechanistic links between subcellular indicators and ecologically relevant effects (e.g., whole-animal fitness, population-level endpoints). Although subcellular “biomarkers” are often used as “early warning indicators” of stress, they have limited ability to predict higher order consequences of exposure to contaminants. Rather than assessing stress by using a set of traditional protection or detoxification biomarkers (e.g., heat shock proteins, glutathione-S-transferase, metallothioneins), Chris evaluates stress within a bioenergetics framework. Specifically, he is interested in how contaminants affect energy production, regulation, and investment in organisms. By framing stress in a bioenergetics context, Chris’ research examines and interprets energetic stress across multiples levels of organization- subcellular (e.g., ATP regulation), organismal (e.g., metabolic capacity), behavioral (e.g., movement), and population (e.g., reproductive success). Here at OSU, Chris is using birds and reptiles to investigate the energetic consequences of exposure to crude oil.


Here's Chris hiking the Appalachain Trail in Maine.



Visit Chris' website here


Undergraduate Researchers

Current Collaborators

Polly Campbell, Oklahoma State University

Jen Grindstaff, Oklahoma State University

William Hopkins, Virginia Tech

Michael Romero, Tufts University

Gary Hepp, Auburn University

Ignacio Moore, Virginia Tech

Dana Hawley, Virginia Tech

Kristen Navara, Univ of Georgia

JD Willson, Univ of Arkansas

Amanda Wilson, Illinois State Univ

Molly Dickens, UC Berkeley

Carolyn Bauer, North Dakota State University

Christine Lattin, Yale University

Noha Youssef, Oklahoma State University

Shawn Wilder, Oklahoma State University

Erica Lutter, Oklahoma State University

Anna Smith


Anna is a Physiology major who has been working in the lab since her first semester on campus. Since joining the lab she has been involved with numerous projects, won Best Presentation award at the Karen L Smith Undergraduate Research Symposia, presented at the Animal Behavior meeting in Toronto, Canada, and received a Wentz Research Scholarship.  Anna is currently exploring behavioral and immunological changes in social birds exposed to sick conspecifics 


Here's Anna in the Grand Canyon.






Past NSF REU students

Maria Arciniega


Maria, an undergraduate at Pomona College in Claremont CA, worked as an NSF REU student with me at Tufts University in the summer of 2013.  Project title: Does disrupted negative feedback account for the negative effects of chronic stress

Mimi Tran


Mimi worked as an NSF REU student with me at Tufts University in the summer of 2012. She is currently an undergraduate student at Univ. of Texas, Austin, and is currently attending Vet school at the University of Wisconsin.  Project title: Does life history stage affect the energetic costs of stress?

Anna Smith


Anna worked with the DuRant lab for a year as a Freshman Research Scholar.  She stayed with us for the summer to continue her research on the behavioral effects of an immune challenge in birds as an NSF REU student. 

Jeff Krall


Jeff also started working in the lab as a Freshmen. His research has primarily focused on the behavioral effects of exposure to waste water treatment facility effluent and its relationship to cellular biomarkers of energetic stress in snails. Jeff is now exploring the bioenergetics consequences of exposure to crude oil using a bird model organism.  Jeff has received the Best Undergraduate Poster Presentation award at two Interdisciplinary Toxicology Program Symposia and at the National (!!) Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry meeting.  Jeff is also the recipient of the prestigious Niblack Scholarship.


A picture of Jeff is coming soon.  






Kevin Grisham


Kevin has been a jack-of-all-trades in the lab and has worked with birds, snakes and snails. Kevin completed an independent research project investigating the behavioral effects of exposure to waste water treatment facility effluent in snails. Kevin was recently accepted into Veterinary School at Oklahoma State University. He will be sorely missed!


A picture of Kevin is coming soon.  






Aimee Nash


Amy has been with the lab for three years and has become an expert at DNA extraction, analyzing behavioral videos, caring for birds, and performing lab assays. Aimee's primary focus is on the changes in the gut microbiome associated with shifts in macronutrient intake. 


A picture of Aimee is coming soon! 






Amanda Wilson Carter:


As an undergraduate Amanda conducted independent research with Wood Ducks. She investigated trade-offs between thermoregulation and immune responses. Her research was published in The Journal of Experimental Zoology.


Here's Amanda working hard in Antarctica.




Past Independent Undergraduate Researchers

Chad Stachowiak


Chad's independent research developed a way to monitor food consumption in young ducklings. He worked with me to examine how pre-hatch versus post-hatch conditions contribute to duckling thermoregulation and growth.  This work is published in Physiological and Biochemical Zoology.

Here's Chad with a fox on San Clemente Island, CA; cstach@gmail.com

Brittney Hopkins Coe


As an undergraduate Brittney developed an indepedent research project related to my Wood Duck Research. She investigated the influence of incubation temperature on swimming and running performance of young wood ducks. Her research is published in The Journal of Experimental Zoology.

Here's Brittney working with snapping turtles on the South River near Waynesboro, Virginia.

Lauren Schmidt


Lauren worked on her Honor's Thesis with Chris Goodchild investigating whether personality predicts behavioral and morphological responses to predators in snails.  Lauren was the recipient of a Wentz Research Grant!



Here's Lauren setting up her snail experiment.






Tori Kingdom


Tori was a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major working with Ashley Love to explore innate immune responses and hormonal changes in zebra finches exposed to sick neighbors. Tori was the recipient of a Wentz Research Grant


Here's Tori reflecting on how awesome research is!

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These materials are not endorsed, approved, or provided by or on behalf of the University of Arkansas

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