Does testosterone produce duds or studs? A performance-based examination of the Immunocompetence Handicap Hypothesis. [ 2004 - 2006 ]

Research Grant

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Researchers A/Prof WA ButtemerA/Prof LB Astheimer

Brief description The evolutionary persistence of testosterone (T) as a vertebrate reproductive hormone is viewed as a double-edged sword. On the one hand T secretion is required for development and expression of appropriate reproductive functions. On the other hand T is known to suppress immune functions and is thus considered a liability to male health. We are examining an alternate hypothesis: that T-induced immunosuppression benefits breeding males by protecting their physical performance levels during immune challenge. We will examine this hypothesis by quantifying the interactive effects of T and immune challenge on the aerobic capacity of male birds.

Funding Amount $195,000

Funding Scheme Discovery Projects

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