Kendra Sewall is an associate professor of biological sciences specializing in animal behavior and neuroethology. Research in the Sewall lab seeks to understand how neural and behavioral processes — and the environmental and developmental factors that impact those processes — contribute to animal survival and reproductive success. This work pertains to understanding the proximate basis of adaptive and dysfunctional behavior, and is also relevant to understanding the evolution of the brain and behavior. Dr. Sewall teaches courses in neuroscience through the College of Science, as well as a course in Animal Cognition. Prior to joining Virginia Tech in 2013, she was an NRSA postdoctoral Fellow in Animal Behavior and Behavioral Neuroscience at Duke University.
Current research projects in the Sewall lab address the impacts of early ecological and social conditions on brain development and adaptive behavior using songbirds as a model system. Additionally, a long-term project focuses on the impacts of human habitat disturbance on the behavior and underlying brain mechanisms of wild populations of song sparrows.
Recent Relevant Publications
Sewall KB, RC Anderson, J Soha, S Peters, and S Nowicki. (in press). Early life conditions that impact song learning in male zebra finches also impact neural and behavioral responses to song in females. Developmental Neurobiology
Davies SP, Beck MLP, and Sewall KB. (2018). Territorial aggression in urban and rural song sparrows is correlated with corticosterone, but not testosterone. Hormones and Behavior 98:8-15. Doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2017.11.010
Beck ML, Davies S, Moore IT, Schoenle LA, Kerman K, Vernasco BJ, and Sewall KB. (2016). Beeswax corticosterone Implants Produce Long-Term Elevation of Plasma Corticosterone and Influence Condition.” General and Comparative Endocrinology 233: 109–14. doi:10.1016/j.ygcen.2016.05.021.
For a complete list of published work, please see Dr. Sewall’s website.