Project Title

Do Corticosterone Levels Vary Among Amphibians in Western KY Wetlands?

Project Abstract

Traditional forms of rapid wetland condition assessment focus on foliage health, nutrient enrichment, chemical contamination, and surrounding land-usage, often overlooking an evaluation of the animals living in the wetland. More intense assessments include the use of indices of biotic integrity, which focus on community composition (e.g., diversity and species richness) and abundances. These indices require expertise in species identification and do not provide information about the animal’s fitness.

Animal stress physiology, which generally correlates with measures used to quantify animal fitness (e.g., survival, reproduction, and body condition), may provide a complementary rapid assessment method, aimed at understanding the connections between organismal health and our current understanding of wetland condition. The goal of my research is to aid the Kentucky Division of Water and other agencies in identifying existing links between wetland condition and the health of the amphibian population in target ecosystems.

Funding Type

Research Grant

Academic College

Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology


Biology; Pre-Med. Minors in Chemistry and Political Science


Bachelors of Science in Biology

Graduation Expected

May 2023




Jessica Moon, PhD.

Academic College

Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology

Beginning date of project


End date of project


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