The laboratory is broadly interested in the biology of time; from unicellular organisms to more complex animals, including humans. We employ a wide range of methods to examine how time is represented and controlled at genomic, epigenomic, physiological and behavioural levels. Current questions focus on the role of reversible DNA methylation at targeted and genome-wide regions; for the regulation of 1) circannual rhythms in reproduction and metabolism; 2) female reproductive cycles; and 3) immune function.
Dr Tyler Stevenson is a Behavioural Neurobiologist. He received undergraduate training under the guidance of Dr. Scott MacDougall-Shackleton at the University of Western Ontario. Tyler then pursued graduate research training in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, at The Johns Hopkins University. There he worked under the supervision of Dr Gregory Ball and conducted a range of experiments that examined how environmental cues can regulate neural and genomic plasticity in the avian brain. After his graduate training, Tyler was a Research Fellow in the Institute for Mind and Biology at the University of Chicago. While in Chicago, Tyler worked closely with Dr. Brian Prendergast and identified marked light induced plasticity in DNA methylation within the adult mammalian brain and immune system. Tyler’s work at the University of Aberdeen is currently focussed on identifying novel genomic and epigenomic mechanisms that underly the integration of environmental and endogenous signals; and how this plasticity at a mechanistic level leads to adaptive changes in physiology & behaviour.
Active research projects:
Banks, R., Delibegovic, M. & Stevenson, T. ‘Photoperiod- and Triiodothyronine-Dependent Regulation of Reproductive Neuropeptides, Proinflammatory Cytokines, and Peripheral Physiology in Siberian Hamsters (Phodopus sungorus)’. Journal of Biological Rhythms.
Stevenson, TJ. & Prendergast, BJ. (2015). ‘Photoperiodic time measurement and seasonal immunological plasticity’. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, vol 37, pp. 76-88.
Stevenson, TJ., Visser, ME., Arnold, W., Barrett, P., Biello, S., Dawson, A., Denlinger, DL., Dominoni, D., Ebling, FJ., Elton, S., Evans, N., Ferguson, HM., Foster, RG., Hau, M., Haydon, DT., Hazlerigg, DG., Heideman, P., Hopcraft, JGC., Jonsson, NN., Kronfeld-Schor, N., Kumar, V., Lincoln, GA., MacLeod, R., Martin, SAM., Martinez-Bakker, M., Nelson, RJ., Reed, T., Robinson, JE., Rock, D., Schwartz, WJ., Steffan-Dewenter, I., Tauber, E., Thackeray, SJ., Umstatter, C., Yoshimura, T. & Helm, B. (2015). ‘Disrupted seasonal biology impacts health, food security and ecosystems’. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. B, Biological Sciences, vol 282, no. 1817, 20151453.
Stevenson, TJ. & Prendergast, BJ. (2013). ‘Reversible DNA methylation regulates seasonal photoperiodic time measurement’. PNAS, vol 110, no. 41, pp. 16651-16656.
Stevenson, TJ. & Ball, GF. (2012). ‘Disruption of neuropsin mRNA expression via RNA interference facilitates the photoinduced increase in thyrotropin-stimulating subunit β in birds’. European Journal of Neuroscience, vol 36, no. 6, pp. 2859.