The International Research Fellowship Program enables U.S. scientists and engineers to conduct three to twenty-four months of research abroad. The program's awards provide opportunities for joint research, and the use of unique or complementary facilities, expertise and experimental conditions abroad.
This award will support a twenty-two-month research fellowship by Dr. Jennifer L. Grindstaff to work with Dr. Henrik G. Smith at Lund University on Sweden.
Most research in ecological immunology assumes that developmental stress has only short-term effects on offspring immune function. This project tests this assumption in a population of ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) by quantifying the immune response of offspring in adulthood after experimentally eliminating intestinal parasites in some individuals during ontogeny and/or during the maternal breeding period. The immune responses during the period of parasite manipulation are also measured to assess the effects of current condition on the immune response. Finally, parents and offspring are genotyped to determine the role of MHC genotype in the immune response to specific antigens. This research will contribute to our understanding of the role of development in modulating the adult phenotype and the influence of environmental versus genetic differences in determining the magnitude of the immune response.