Rudy Boonstra

Rudy Boonstra


Professor of Ecology & Evolution and Physiology







Maternal programming, Stress Physiology, Life History Adaptations, Population Demographic Processes, Adrenal Steroid Production, Reproduction and Behavior, Neuroscience and Neuroendocrinology, Epigenetics, Animal x Environment Interactions, Natural Animal

Research Interests: 

My research program focuses the role of the stress axis in natural populations. The stress axis is one of the key neuroendocrine control mechanisms that mediate the relationship of the organism to its environment, both in terms of short-term responses to environmental challenges (e.g. changes in food, predators, weather, etc.) and of long-term evolutionary responses to particular ecological pressures.

We use natural animal models to understand how the axis functions normally to maximize fitness and what happens to physiology, brain organization, and offspring programming and development in the face of short- and long-term stressors. The work occurs throughout Canada (Yukon, Alberta, Ontario). I collaborate extensively with colleagues throughout Canada and the world (e.g. Australia, France, Germany, Norway, UK, USA)