My research has focused on problems in
reproductive biology, principally on the development and function of
sex differences. The research strategy employed has been to identify
important problems in behavioral biology and then find a species that
allows me to address that problem in a unique way. Experience has taught
me that Nature provides all of the experimental preparations required.
Conventional animal models are also utilized when they enable me to
extend findings to the mammalian condition, or provide unique preparations
with which to study neuroendocrine mechanisms.
All of my research uses a comparative,
interdisciplinary approach that combines and integrates the molecular,
cellular, physiological, morphological, organismal, ecological, and
evolutionary levels of analysis. The research is conducted both in the
laboratory and in the field to illustrate how the causal mechanisms
and functional outcomes of reproductive processes operate at each level
of biological organization while, at the same time, illuminating the
relations among the levels. It has been my experience that field and
laboratory studies are complementary; the field has proven to be a valuable
testing ground for adaptive functions, whereas the laboratory is the
only possible arena for determining many of the physiological and molecular
bases of phenomena observed in the field.