Elizabeth K. Peterson

Elizabeth K. Peterson
Colorado State University - Pueblo | CSU-Pueblo

PhD Biology

About

17
Publications
2,917
Reads
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140
Citations
Introduction
The overarching aim of my research program is to understand the implications of anthropogenic stressors on physiological and behavioral responses that are necessary for fitness in keystone ecosystem engineers (e.g. prairie dogs) and wild-caught model organisms (e.g. Drosophila). To address these interdisciplinary questions, my research team utilizes both field and laboratory techniques at multiple levels of organization to contribute to improving environmental quality and conservation efforts.
Additional affiliations
September 2021 - present
Colorado State University - Pueblo
Position
  • Research Faculty
May 2017 - September 2020
Colorado State University - Pueblo
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • The CBASE Program integrates curricular, co-curricular (e.g., undergraduate research and mentoring), and programmatic (e.g., professional development) support to increase retention and graduation rates of underrepresented groups in STEM. As the postdoctoral researcher for CBASE, I mentor 36 students in undergraduate research, manage a collaborative community of faculty and students, and run my own research laboratory and team of undergraduate and master's students in my own research.
January 2017 - May 2017
Union College
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Principal Investigator: Roman Yukilevich PhD
Education
August 2008 - December 2016
University at Albany, The State University of New York
Field of study
  • Biology (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Program)
August 2000 - May 2004
Ithaca College
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (17)
Article
Prairie dogs are a keystone species that provide ecosystem services in endangered grasslands in North America. They have been extirpated throughout their range due to sylvatic plague, habitat fragmentation, lethal control, and drought. There are competing drivers of biodiversity between herbivorous rodents and drought in semi-arid grasslands. There...
Chapter
In this experiment, we will study the impact of light pollution on the activity and foraging behaviors using Madagascar hissing cockroaches as the model system. You will develop your own hypotheses using the background information provided. You will then test your hypotheses, evaluate the results of your experiment, and revise and retest your exper...
Article
Full-text available
Solar power is a renewable energy source with great potential to help meet increasing global energy demands and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. However, research is scarce on how solar facilities affect wildlife. With input from professionals in ecology, conservation, and energy, we conducted a research-prioritization process and identified ke...
Article
Full-text available
In Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), undergraduate research experiences provide students with invaluable opportunities to improve scientific skills. However, less is known about its impact on higher-order thinking skills. Therefore, we sought to determine if engagement in undergraduate research would improve academic perform...
Article
Full-text available
Female vinegar flies (Drosophila melanogaster) preferentially oviposit eggs on oviposition substrates that decrease larval foraging costs. We tested whether female D. melanogaster would avoid oviposition substrates containing lead (Pb2+), which could potentially decrease offspring fitness. Wild type D. melanogaster were reared on control or Pb-trea...
Article
Full-text available
We aimed to identify genetic variation in the response of reproductive behaviors to lead (Pb²⁺) exposure. We reared a subset of the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP) inbred lines on control or Pb-treated (500 μM PbAc) medium and tested for differences in copulation latency, copulation duration, and fecundity. Pb exposure decreased fecundity...
Article
Full-text available
The relative importance of male and female mating preferences in causing sexual isolation between species remains a major unresolved question in speciation. Despite previous work showing that male courtship bias and/or female copulation bias for conspecifics occur in many taxa, the present study is one of the first large‐scale works to study their...
Article
Emergent properties and external factors (population-level and ecosystem-level interactions, in particular) play important roles in mediating ecologically-important endpoints, though they are rarely considered in toxicological studies. D. melanogaster is emerging as a toxicology model for the behavioral, neurological, and genetic impacts of toxican...
Article
We examined accumulation, sequestration, elimination, and genetic variation for lead (Pb) loads within and between generations of Drosophila melanogaster. Flies were reared in control or leaded medium at various doses and tested for their Pb loads at different stages of development (larvae, eclosion, newly-eclosed adults, and mature adults). Pb loa...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic pollutants have the potential to disrupt reproductive strategies. Little is known about how lead (Pb²⁺) exposure disrupts individual-level responses in reproductive behaviors, which are important for fitness. Drosophila melanogaster was used as a model system to determine the effects of: 1) developmental lead exposure on pre-mating re...
Article
Full-text available
The fields of behavioral ecology, conservation science, and environmental toxicology individually aim to protect and manage the conservation of wildlife in response to anthropogenic stressors, including widespread anthropogenic pollution. Although great emphasis in the field of toxicology has been placed on understanding how single pollutants affec...
Thesis
Anthropogenic lead (Pb) pollution is ubiquitous in the environment and a risk factor for both human and wildlife health. Pb exposure has the potential to alter reproductive strategies with respect to mate choice and reproductive output. This could be especially deleterious if these changes disrupt adaptive behavioral and reproductive life history s...
Article
Anthropogenic pollution has impacted ecosystems and organisms globally. Aquatic freshwater systems are of particular concern because of their importance to human health and livelihoods. Sentinel species can serve as indicators for both individual and population-level health risks to both wildlife and humans, and therefore facilitate the mitigation...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we describe a two-week learning module where students tested the role of the fruitless gene on aggression and courtship in Drosophila melanogaster via team-based learning (TBL) strategies. The purpose of this module was to determine if TBL could be used in the future as a platform to implement the course goals and teach scientific sk...

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