Early life adversity, telomere length and adult cognition: the starling as an experimental model 


BBSRC (funds part of a joint project with Universities of Newcastle & St Andrews)

The aim of this project is to investigate the links between early-life circumstances and adult cognition using the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) as the study species.  Birds have provided good experimental models in which to study the effects of early-life conditions on adult anatomy, physiology and cognition. We focus on understanding the effects of the early nutritional and social environment on several components of adult cognitive performance, and also investigate candidate mechanisms underlying the effects on performance, which include redox balance, telomere dynamics and hormonal factors.