PRECS student projects

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2018


Threespined sticklebacks, Gasterosteus aculeatus, exhibit male-only parental care, but will decrease paternal care if exposed to predators while given care or if their mate has had prior experiences with predators. The offspring will experience lasting effects based on the experience of their parents (behavior-mediated transgenerational plasticity). While other studies have concluded that male exposure to predators prior to fertilization (sperm-mediated transgenerational plasticity) impacts offspring, whether sperm-mediated effects exist in sticklebacks, and for how many generations the effects persist is unknown. Courtship trials with both predator exposed and predator unexposed females with six male treatment groups shows significant impact of maternal grandfather predation exposure, suggesting that daughters of predator-exposed fathers are passing down cues to their sons.


Copyright is owned by the creators of this work.


Research for this project was conducted with the cooperation of the Department of Animal Biology, a unit of the School of Integrative Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Financial support was provided by the National Science Foundation under grant #NSF REU 1559908/1559929, as part of the Phenotypic Plasticity Research Experience for Community College Students, through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Institute for Genomic Biology and Parkland College. Further support was provided by the National Institutes of Health under grant #R01 GM082937 to Alison Bell and #F32GM121033 to Jennifer Hellmann.



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