Travis E. Wilcoxen

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Glucocorticoids mediate glucose availability under stressful and non-stressful conditions and, therefore, are essential for life. However, data across taxa demonstrate that chronic or elevated secretion of corticosterone or cortisol (CORT) can have negative effects at many levels and can trigger physiological or behavioral responses that may delay or, even(More)
Opportunities to investigate selection in free-living species during a naturally occurring epidemic are rare; however, we assessed innate immunocompetence in Florida scrub-jays before the population suffered the greatest over-winter mortality in 20 years of study. Propitiously, three months prior to the epidemic, we had sampled a number of male breeders to(More)
In physiological studies of free-living species, it is essential to consider the context of the life history stage at which an individual was observed in order to link measures of physiology with ecological parameters. One such measure that is important to consider is the age of an individual. We tested whether baseline or stress-induced corticosterone(More)
The immune system is a necessary, but potentially costly, defense against infectious diseases. When nutrition is limited, immune activity may consume a significant amount of an organism’s energy budget. Levels of dietary protein affect immune system function; high levels can enhance disease resistance. We exposed southern leopard frog [Lithobates(More)
In species that undergo actuarial senescence, the value of current reproduction is predicted to increase relative to the value of future reproduction with age, as the probability of survival to another reproductive event is reduced. Therefore, life history theory predicts that aging animals should increase their investment in reproduction. However, an(More)
Stressful conditions during development may have lasting consequences for an animal's lifetime fitness. We investigated the degree to which parental provisioning and nest attendance influenced baseline levels of the stress hormone corticosterone in nestling Florida scrub-jays. Provisioning rates of male and female breeders and nest attendance of female(More)
Immunological reagents for wild, non-model species are limited or often non-existent for many species.In this study, we compare the reactivity of a new anti-passerine IgY secondary antibody with existing secondary antibodies developed for use with birds. Samples from 41 species from the following six avian orders were analysed: Anseriformes (1 family, 1(More)
There is a growing body of evidence from across animal taxa that exposure to elevated levels of glucocorticoids during development can have profound long-term effects upon physiological and behavioral phenotypes. Several avian studies have revealed that the degree to which an individual’s hypothalamo–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis responds to stressful(More)
Providing supplemental food to Florida scrub-jays (Aphelocoma coerulescens) causes a reliable advance in clutch initiation of 1 to 2 weeks. In some years, supplemental food appeared to not only advance laying date but also decrease baseline concentrations of corticosterone (CORT) relative to controls. The coincidence of low CORT levels and early breeding(More)
It is well known that variation in developmental conditions can have profound effects upon lifetime fitness. In altricial avian species, nestlings undergo a substantial portion of development in the nest after hatching, often in the presence of nest-mates. This can result in the formation of brood hierarchies based on age, size, and competitive ability.(More)