Maren Vitousek

Associate Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

My research program addresses how organisms cope with challenges and changes in the environment. Rapid flexibility in behavior and physiology is a crucial component of an effective response to stressors. Yet there is remarkable variation within and across populations in the flexibility of phenotypic traits, as well as in the ability to survive and reproduce when facing challenges. Why do individuals respond to the same stressor in markedly different ways? Why are some populations more phenotypically flexible than others? How does selection shape physiological and behavioral traits, and their flexibility? Our lab addresses these fundamental questions by investigating the function, development, and evolution of hormonal and behavioral traits across differing ecological contexts.

I teach in BioEE 1780: Introduction to Evolutionary Biology and Diversity, BioEE 7650: Special Topics in Evolution and Ecology: Professional Development and BioEE 4661: Physiological Ecology.

Education

Ph.D., Princeton University
B.A., Amherst College

Recent Publications

Injaian, A. S., J. J. Uehling, C. C. Taff, and M. N. Vitousek (2021). Effects of artificial light at night on avian provisioning, corticosterone, and reproductive success. Integrative and Comparative Biology 61:1147–1159.
Husak, J. F., M. J. Fuxjager, M. A. Johnson, M. N. Vitousek, J. W. Donald, C. D. Francis, W. Goymann, M. Hau, B. K. Kircher, R. Knapp, L. B. Martin, et al. (2021). Life history and environment predict variation in testosterone across vertebrates. Evolution. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.14216
Schoenle, L. A., C. Zimmer, E. T. Miller, and M. N. Vitousek (2021). Does variation in glucocorticoid concentrations predict fitness? A phylogenetic meta-analysis. General and Comparative Endocrinology 300:113611.
Taff, C. C., C. Zimmer, D. Scheck, T. A. Ryan, J. L. Houtz, M. R. Smee, T. A. Hendry, and M. N. Vitousek (2021). Plumage manipulation alters associations between behaviour, physiology, the internal microbiome and fitness. Animal Behaviour 178:11–36.
Shipley, J. R., C. W. Twining, C. C. Taff, M. N. Vitousek, A. Flack, and D. W. Winkler (2020). Birds advancing lay dates with warming springs face greater risk of chick mortality. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences:202009864.
Injaian, A., C. Francis, J. Ouyang, D. Dominoni, J. Donald, M. Fuxjager, W. Goymann, M. Hau, J. Husak, M. Johnson, B. Kircher, et al. (2020). Baseline and stress-Induced corticosterone levels across birds and reptiles do not reflect urbanization levels. Conservation Physiology 8:1–18.
Zimmer, C., C. C. Taff, D. R. Ardia, A. P. Rose, D. A. Aborn, L. S. Johnson, and M. N. Vitousek (2020). Environmental unpredictability shapes glucocorticoid regulation across populations of Tree Swallows. Scientific Reports 10:13682.
Winkler, D. W., K. K. Hallinger, T. M. Pegan, C. C. Taff, M. A. Verhoeven, D. Chang van Oordt, M. Stager, J. J. Uehling, M. N. Vitousek, M. J. Andersen, D. R. Ardia, et al. (2020). Full lifetime perspectives on the costs and benefits of lay‐date variation in tree swallows. Ecology 101.
Uehling, J. J., C. C. Taff, D. W. Winkler, and M. N. Vitousek (2020). Developmental temperature predicts the adult response to stressors in a free‐living passerine. Journal of Animal Ecology 89:842–854.
Vitousek, M. N., C. C. Taff, T. A. Ryan, and C. Zimmer (2019). Stress resilience and the dynamic regulation of glucocorticoids. Integrative and Comparative Biology 59:251–263.
Vitousek, M. N., M. A. Johnson, C. J. Downs, E. T. Miller, L. B. Martin, C. D. Francis, J. W. Donald, M. J. Fuxjager, W. Goymann, M. Hau, J. F. Husak, et al. (2019). Macroevolutionary patterning in glucocorticoids suggests different selective pressures shape baseline and stress-Induced levels. The American Naturalist:703112.
Taff, C. C., C. Zimmer, and M. N. Vitousek (2019). Achromatic plumage brightness predicts stress resilience and social interactions in Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor). Behavioral Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arz010
Zimmer, C., C. C. Taff, D. R. Ardia, T. A. Ryan, D. W. Winkler, and M. N. Vitousek (2019). On again, off again: Acute stress response and negative feedback together predict resilience to experimental challenges. Functional Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.13281
Taff, C. C., L. Campagna, and M. N. Vitousek (2019). Genome‐wide variation in DNA methylation is associated with stress resilience and plumage brightness in a wild bird. Molecular Ecology 28:3722–3737.
Injaian, A. S., C. C. Taff, G. P. Patricelli, M. N. Vitousek, M. Gin, and K. Pearson (2019). [In press] Experimental traffic noise exposure alters stress physiology and reduces reproductive success in a free-living bird. Hormones & Behavior.
Del Giudice, M., C. L. Buck, L. Chaby, B. M. Gormally, C. C. Taff, C. J. Thawley, M. N. Vitousek, and H. Wada (2019). [In press] What is stress? A systems perspective. Integrative and Comparative Biology.
Welling, L. L. M., and T. K. Shackleford (Editors) (2019). [In press] Hormones and behavior: A life history perspective. In The Oxford Handbook on Evolutionary Psychology and Behavioral Endocrinology. 1st edition. University of Oxford Press.
Martin, L. B., M. Vitousek, J. W. Donald, T. Flock, M. J. Fuxjager, W. Goymann, M. Hau, J. Husak, M. A. Johnson, B. Kircher, R. Knapp, et al. (2018). IUCN conservation status does not predict glucocorticoid concentrations in reptiles and birds. Integrative and Comparative Biology 58:800–813.
Casagrande, S., L. Zsolt Garamszegi, W. Goymann, J. Donald, C. D. Francis, M. J. Fuxjager, J. F. Husak, M. A. Johnson, B. Kircher, R. Knapp, L. B. Martin, et al. (2018). Do seasonal glucocorticoid changes depend on reproductive investment? A comparative approach in birds. Integrative and Comparative Biology 58:739–750.
Garamszegi, L. Z., J. Donald, C. D. Francis, M. J. Fuxjager, W. Goymann, M. Hau, J. F. Husak, M. A. Johnson, B. Kircher, R. Knapp, L. B. Martin, et al. (2018). Species-specific means and within-species variance in glucocorticoid hormones and speciation rates in birds. Integrative and Comparative Biology 58:763–776.
Johnson, M. A., C. D. Francis, E. T. Miller, C. J. Downs, and M. N. Vitousek (2018). Detecting bias in large-scale comparative analyses: Methods for expanding the scope of hypothesis-testing with HormoneBase. Integrative and Comparative Biology 58:720–728.
Francis, C. D., J. W. Donald, M. J. Fuxjager, W. Goymann, M. Hau, J. F. Husak, M. A. Johnson, B. K. Kircher, R. Knapp, L. B. Martin, E. T. Miller, et al. (2018). Metabolic scaling of stress hormones in vertebrates. Integrative and Comparative Biology 58:729–738.
Del Giudice, M., C. L. Buck, L. E. Chaby, B. M. Gormally, C. C. Taff, C. J. Thawley, M. N. Vitousek, and H. Wada (2018). What is stress? A systems perspective. Integrative and Comparative Biology. https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/icy114
Miles, M. C., M. N. Vitousek, J. F. Husak, M. A. Johnson, L. B. Martin, C. C. Taff, C. Zimmer, M. B. Lovern, and M. J. Fuxjager (2018). Standing variation and the capacity for change: Are endocrine phenotypes more variable than other traits? Integrative and Comparative Biology:1–12.
Vitousek, M. N., C. C. Taff, D. R. Ardia, J. M. Stedman, C. Zimmer, T. C. Salzman, and D. W. Winkler (2018). The lingering impact of stress: brief acute glucocorticoid exposure has sustained, dose-dependent effects on reproduction. Proc. R. Soc. B 285.
Vitousek, M. N., M. A. Johnson, J. W. Donald, C. D. Francis, M. J. Fuxjager, W. Goymann, M. Hau, J. F. Husdak, B. K. Kircher, R. Knapp, L. B. Martin, et al. (2018). HormoneBase, a population-level database of steroid hormone levels across vertebrates. Scientific Data 5.
Vitousek, M. N., M. A. Johnson, and J. F. Husak (2018). Hormones and fitness: Evidence for trade-offs in glucocorticoid regulation across contexts. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 6:1–14.
Injaian, A. S., C. C. Taff, K. L. Pearson, M. M. Y. Gin, G. L. Patricelli, and M. N. Vitousek (2018). Effects of experimental chronic traffic noise exposure on adult and nestling corticosterone levels, and nestling body condition in a free-living bird. Hormones and Behavior 106:19–27.
Taff, C. C., L. A. Schoenle, and M. N. Vitousek (2018). The repeatability of glucocorticoids: A review and meta-analysis. General and Comparative Endocrinology 260:136–145.
Vitousek, M. N., M. A. Johnson, and J. F. Husak (2018). Illuminating endocrine evolution: The power and potential of large-scale comparative analyses. Integrative and Comparative Biology:1–8.
Taff, C. C., C. Zimmer, and M. N. Vitousek (2018). Efficacy of negative feedback in the HPA axis predicts recovery from acute challenges. Biology Letters 14.
Kelly, A. M., and M. N. Vitousek (2017). Dynamic modulation of sociality and aggression: An examination of plasticity within endocrine and neuroendocrine systems. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 372.
Stedman, J. M., K. K. Hallinger, D. W. Winkler, and M. N. Vitousek (2017). Heritable variation in circulating glucocorticoids and endocrine flexibility in a free-living songbird. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 30:1724–1735.
Vitousek, M. N. (2017). An experimental test of the effect of brood size on glucocorticoid responses, parental investment, and offspring phenotype. General and Comparative Endocrinology 247:97–106.
Vitousek, M. N. (2017). Opening the black box—mechanisms, evolution, and the theory of the individual. Ecology 98:1477–1478.
Vitousek, M. N., O. Tomášek, T. Albrecht, M. R. Wilkins, and R. J. Safran (2016). Signal traits and oxidative stress: a comparative study across populations with divergent signals. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 4.
Wiebe, K. L., and M. N. Vitousek (2016). Melanin plumage ornaments in both sexes of Northern Flicker are associated with body condition and predict reproductive output independent of age. The Auk 132:507–517.
Taff, C. C., and M. N. Vitousek (2016). Endocrine flexibility: optimizing phenotypes in a dynamic world? Trends in Ecology & Evolution 31:476–488.
Maren Vitousek
Center Biodiversity Studies & Higher Education
Email mnv6@cornell.edu

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