Department News

2012-06-20

Graduate Student Julia Barske awarded American Heart Association Fellowship

EEB PhD candidate Julia Barske has received a pre-doctoral fellowship from the American Heart Association for her research project entitled “Cardiac adaptations for an energetic courtship behavior”. She investigates physiologic adaptations driven by sexual selection. Julia studies the Golden collared manakin, a wild tropical bird, which she has shown has an extremely high heart rate during its physically intense courtship display. She is examining whether male manakins have special adaptations in cardiac physiology to enable their rapid heart rate. She is focused on the role of testosterone, the male reproductive hormone naturally elevated during courtship period. Her studies have clinical implications as well as for understanding how animals adapt to extreme evolutionary pressure.