Jennifer Grindstaff, Associate Professor

Animal behavior, ecological immunology, maternal effects, maternal antibody transmission, avian biology, behavioral ecology

Ph.D., 2004, Indiana University


Lab website

Specific Interests

My research incorporates concepts and approaches from physiology, behavioral ecology and evolutionary biology. I use this integrative approach to understand both the proximate mechanisms and the evolutionary consequences of life history trade-offs. Studies in the lab involve the integration of field and laboratory work to explore how ecological and physiological parameters act and interact to influence parent and offspring phenotypes.


Selected Publications (*= graduate students; #=undergraduate students)

  • K.C. Schreier*, J.L. Grindstaff. 2020. Repeatable behavioural and immune defence strategies against infection are not traded-off. Animal Behaviour 162:11-22.
  • L. Merrill, J.L. Grindstaff. 2018. Early life stress strengthens trait covariance: a plastic response that results in reduced flexibility. The American Naturalist 192:593-604 DOI: 10.1086/699839.
  • L. Merrill, M.F. Naylor*, M. Dalimonte#, S. McLaughlin#, T.E. Stewart*, J.L. Grindstaff. 2017. Early-life immune activation increases song complexity and alters phenotypic associations between sexual ornaments. Functional Ecology 31:2263-2273.
  • M. Ambardar*, J.L. Grindstaff. 2017. Pre-GnRH and GnRH-induced testosterone levels do not vary across behavioral contexts: A role for individual variation. General and Comparative Endocrinology 246:51-62.
  • J.L. Grindstaff. 2016. Developmental immune activation programs adult behavior: insight from research on birds. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences 7:21-27.
  • J. L. Burtka* and J.L. Grindstaff. 2015. Similar nest defence strategies within pairs increase reproductive success in the Eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis). Animal Behaviour 100:174-182.
  • L. Merrill and J.L. Grindstaff. 2015. Pre and post-natal antigen exposure can program the stress axis of adult zebra finches: evidence for environment matching. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity 45:71-79.
  • K.L. Buchanan, J.L. Grindstaff, V.V. Pravosudov. 2013. Condition-dependent cognition: implications for ecology and evolution. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 28:290-296.
  • J.L. Grindstaff, V.R. Hunsaker#, S.N. Cox#. 2012. Maternal and developmental immune challenges alter personality and learning ability of offspring. Hormones & Behavior 62:337-344.
  • J.L. Grindstaff, D. Hasselquist, J-Å Nilsson, M. Sandell, H.G. Smith, M. Stjernman. 2006. Transgenerational priming of immunity: maternal exposure to a bacterial antigen enhances offspring humoral immunity. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 273:2551-2557.
  • J.L. Grindstaff, E.D. Brodie III, E.D. Ketterson. 2003. Immune function across generations: integrating mechanism and evolutionary process in maternal antibody transmission. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 270:2309-2320.