Date of Award

Spring 2022

Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Honors Bachelor of Arts




Bobby Fokidis

Committee Member

Fiona Harper

Committee Member

Tom Cook


The goal of this study is to characterize the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis regulators of the stress response in a turtle species, the Red-Eared slider, Trachemys scripta elegans and to determine if NPY acts as a secretagogue for adrenal steroids in reptilian species, as it does in mammals. Here, I caught turtles using baited hoop traps. Then, I used pharmacological injections of ACTH (intermediate in HPA axis), dexamethasone (DEX, a synthetic steroid that blocks ACTH release and induces HPA negative feedback), NPY (starvation hormone), and NPY receptor agonists. Each turtle received a single injection upon capture, and I recorded whether adrenal steroid secretion is stimulated or decreased due to negative feedback. The measured changes in adrenal secretion suggested two specific conclusions: 1) A novel connection between the starvation and stress response 2) There may be two independent pathways for stress hormone synthesis


Suggestions were also given from Biology professor, Dr. Katheryn Sutherland, as she was another member of my committee.

Rights Holder

Yoke Tassent

Included in

Biology Commons