Rudy Boonstra

Rudy Boonstra
Professor Emeritus
Telephone number
Building SW 511

Research Interests

The role of the stress axis in natural populations; climate change; population regulation; aging, neurogenesis, hibernation, maternal effects and epigenetics; nonbreeding season aggression and territoriality and the role of dehydroepiandrosterone;


  • Population Ecology
  • Stress in Natural Populations
  • Maternal Effects
  • Epigenetics
  • Life History Aging

Research Area: Conservation Ecology and Evoution, Neuroscience and Behaviour, Physiology

Current Research

The objective of my research program is to understand the adaptations that animals in real world have in coping with stressful situations, what happens when these adaptations are insufficient (i.e. when chronic natural stressors negatively impact physiology, reproduction, brain organization, and demography through maternal effects), and how rapidly changes in the stress response can evolve. It targets:the impact of stress on population demography; the role of the stress axis in physiological aging; maternal effects and the impact of chronic stress (high predation risk) to explain long-term demographic change;the evolution of the stress axis; and evolution of adrenal function to deal with ecological pressures.