Skip to content →

Research Interests

​I am an ecological physiologist with interests in maternal provisioning of resources to offspring, temperature-dependent sex determination, and the development of the immune system in reptiles. Studies in my lab involve the integration of both laboratory and field work to explore how maternally-mediated ecological and physiological parameters act and interact to influence parent and offspring phenotypes. More recently we have focused on how thermal fluctuations affect offspring phenotype.

I collaborate with Dr. Laura Vogel (ISU) on the immunology projects and Dr. Ryan Paitz (ISU) on the sex determination projects.

The lab is currently focusing on questions such as:

  • How does the incubation environment (temperature, steroids, etc.) affect offspring phenotype? How does the incubation environment affect the expression of genes associated with gonadal development?
  • Do yolk steroids alter sex determination in species with environmental sex determination? And if so, how?
  • What role do steroids play in the immune response of both adults and hatchlings?
  • How do developing embryos protect themselves from pathogens?
  • We conduct much of our research on a marked populations of red-eared slider turtles that inhabit a marsh system adjacent to the Illinois River. Over the past several years we have marked over 1500 turtles making this an ideal system for a variety of studies.

For more information about current projects please click on “People” at the top. If you have questions about on-going research or opportunities in the Bowden Lab, please contact me directly via e-mail at​.​​

Phagocytic B cells in the red-eared slider

Green microspheres have been engulfed by the B cells which are stained red

Trachemys scripta
(Red-e​ared Slider)

Trachemys scripta (Red-e​ared Slider)
Female digging a nest at Banner Marsh
Skip to toolbar