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Stress Response and Stress Resilience
Within and Across Generations

In natural environments, individuals experience multiple stressors throughout their lives. Stressors can come in the form of temperature (heat/cold), social interactions, habitat destruction/degradation, food availability, predation, and even intense periods of growth and reproduction. How individuals respond to these stressors, and interactions among these stressors, will determine their capacity to survive and reproduce, and ultimately if the population will persist.


Current Research Directions

  • Understanding the effects of multiple stressors (fire ants and heat stress) in fence lizards at the levels of the physiology and the regulation of the epigenome and the transcriptome.

  • Understanding the molecular basis for how resistance to toxic algal blooms evolves in populations of Daphnia pulicaria and the effects of this resistance on lifespan and reproduction. This work is in collaboration with Dr. Alan Wilson.

  • Using transcriptomics in Daphnia pulex to understand how dietary restriction alters the trade-off between reproduction and lifespan.

  • Understanding the effects of heat stress on cellular damage and stress resilience within and across generations using zebra finches through collaboration with Dr. Haruka Wada (see Project page for Stress Resilience). Our lab group is focusing on the molecular aspects of this project including DNA damage, telomere analysis, gene expression, and epigenetics.


Key references associated with our lab:

  • Westfall, AK, RS Telemeco, MB Grizante, DS Waits, AD Clark, DY Simpson , RL Klabacka, AP Sullivan, GH Perry, MW Sears, CL Cox, RM Cox, ME Gifford, HB John-Alder, T Langkilde, MJ Angilletta, AD Leaché, M Tollis, K Kusumi, TS Schwartz. 2021. A chromosome-level genome assembly for the Eastern Fence Lizard (Sceloporus undulatus), a reptile model for physiological and evolutionary ecology. GigaScience.

  • Clark, AC(GS), BK Howell(REU), AE Wilson, TS Schwartz. 2021. Draft Genomes for One Microcystis-Resistant and One Microcystis-Sensitive Strain of the Water Flea, Daphnia pulicaria, G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics.  In Press jkab266,

  • Schwartz, TS. 2020. The promises and the challenges of integrating multi-omics and systems biology in comparative stress biology. Integrative and Comparative Biology.

  • Telemeco, RS, D Simpson, C Tylan, T Langkilde, TS Schwartz. 2019. Contrasting cellular and endocrine responses of lizards to divergent ecological stressors. Integrative and Comparative Biology.

  • Nelson, JRG, TS Schwartz, JM Gohlke. 2018. Influence of maternal age on the effects of seleno-L-methionine in the model organism Daphnia pulex under standard and heat stress conditions. Reproductive Toxicology. 75:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2017.11.001

  • Schwartz, TS, and AM Bronikowski. 2013. Dissecting molecular stress networks: identifying nodes of divergence between life-history phenotypes. Molecular Ecology. 22(3): 739-756 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05750.x

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