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DuRant’s Research Gains National Attention


Sarah DuRant Sarah DuRant returns a female wood duck to its nest at a wetland located on the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site in Aiken, S.C.

Nov. 15, 2011 – Wildlife science doctoral student Sarah DuRant’s research on wood ducks continues to be well received by the scientific community. She recently completed a research experiment, the first in a five-part research project with Associate Professor William Hopkins, that examined how incubation temperatures affect hormone development in ducklings. “My overarching question is how incubation temperature shapes characteristics important for duckling survival,” said DuRant.

Her experiment findings have been featured in a number of scientific publications, including BBC Wildlife Magazine, Science, and the Journal of Experimental Biology (JEB), the leading journal in comparative animal physiology, as well as the JEB 2010 Annual Research Highlights Booklet. DuRant and Hopkins were also featured in a video for Science Nation, a National Science Foundation initiative focused on bringing science to the general public with dynamic and entertaining short films.

The video visits DuRant and Hopkins in the lab examining embryo development in eggs and measuring ducklings, where they explain their research and how they hope their findings can be applied to wood duck conservation. “Because I investigate effects on traits important to survival, my research has conservation implications,” said DuRant. “This is something I try to write about in my manuscripts.”

    CNRE Newsmagazine Fall 2011 Cover

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