University of Nevada, Reno
Jenny Ouyang

How do some individuals in the same population raise ten offspring while others only have one? How do some individuals survive cold winters and breed again while others do not live past their first winter?


Our lab is interested in the ecology and evolution of physiological systems. To answer the questions above, we empirically test, in natural and laboratory populations, how, and at what rate, physiologically-regulated traits can evolve and enable organismal adaptation to changing environmental conditions.

Two new papers

April 2021

Jen Heppner has a new paper out in Frontiers about incubation behaviors in urban environments. Val Alaasam has a new paper out in Env Poll about ALAN, cardiovascular impacts, and circadian rhythms.  An undergraduate initiated project on visualizing stress physiology using non-invasive infrared technology is also out in Stress

New paper & graduation

April 2020

Avery Grant has a new paper in GCE from her Master's on hormone levels across space and time. A huge congratulations to this year's graduating seniors, who are missing a proper celebration of their achievements, honor's thesis defenses, and family gatherings. We are so proud of you! 

New paper published

July 2019

We published a new paper in Proceedings of the Royal Society B showing that both genetic and plastic components are important for the development of the glucocorticoid phenotype. Urban phenotypes are both a result of genetic and foster environments. Thanks to previous lab members Scott Davies and Crystal Munguia. 


May 2019

Valentina Alaasam was just awarded the NSF GRFP! Avery Grant successfully defended her masters thesis! Jen Heppner received the Edwards fellowship. Paul Macaballug graduated with distinction, awarded NURA and Tri Beta. Kelsey Kjer received the Moose Award and Mickey Negash, a McNair scholar, was awarded the NURA.  

Student awards

May 2018

Valentina Alaasam won the three minute thesis competition for her public talk on light pollution and stress. Her recent paper has just been published in the J of Exp Zool. Also, a huge congratulation to our graduating seniors! Jeanette Liou was named Westfall Scholar 2018. You can read where our amazing seniors are headed here.