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Stress and the American Toad

From an interview with Ted Tarkow, Professor of Classical Studies & Associate Dean of Arts & Science

Emily Fountain, Biological Sciences

Raymond Semlitsch and Matthew Lucy, Mentors

The purpose of my project is to measure corticosterone levels of the American toad (Bufo americanus). In my study the physiological effect of stress on the toad is quantified using a commercial kit called RIA. Currently, the only available option to measure hormones in amphibians involves long and complicated homemade assays. The result of my research provides an easy and quick method of measuring corticosterone levels for the American toad. In combination with continuing studies on the behavioral effects of habitat fragmentation and deforestation, the commercial RIA kit will be used to determine the impact of stress on population size and/or possible extinction.