Illinois State School of Biological Sciences undergraduate Haley Nichols won third place in a poster competition at Indiana University’s Animal Behavior Conference this month.

Nichols’ research investigates environmental contributions to the development of behavioral variation in red-eared slider turtle hatchlings. She described seasonal variation in the production of behavioral types and tested whether concentrations of maternally derived estrogens, which also show a seasonal pattern, affect hatchling behavior. She found that while maternal estrogens do not affect behavior, it seems that other maternal or environmental effects may contribute.

She plans to continue her research with Ph.D. student Amanda Carter and Professor Rachel Bowden in the coming year.