Keith Bowers

Keith Bowers

Assistant Professor

311 Ellington Hall
Office Hours
By Appointment

About Dr. Bowers

Dr. Bowers' research focuses on the evolutionary, physiological, and behavioral ecology of wild birds. The study of birds presents an excellent opportunity to investigate questions related to vertebrate ecology, physiology, social behavior, and evolution. Dr. Bowers and his colleagues use a variety of techniques to investigate questions related to animal ecology and evolution, including responses to anthropogenic activity and climate change. Dr. Bowers and his research group will soon be establishing study populations of birds at the Meeman Biological Station north of Memphis to investigate these issues.

Research Interests

  • Evolutionary, physiological, and behavioral ecology
  • Evolution of life histories
  • Ecoimmunology
  • Climate change


B.A. Biology, Central College (Iowa); M.S. Biological Sciences, Illinois State University; Ph.D. Biological Sciences, Illinois State University; Postdoc, Illinois State University

Selected Recent Publications

  • Bowers EK, Bowden RM, Thompson CF, Sakaluk SK. 2016. Elevated corticosterone during egg production elicits increased maternal investment and promotes nestling growth in a wild songbird. Hormones and Behavior 83:6−13.
  • Bowers EK, Thompson CF, Sakaluk SK. 2016. Within-female plasticity in sex allocation is associated with a behavioral polyphenism in house wrens. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 29:602−616.
  • Bowers EK, Forsman AM, Masters BS, Johnson BGP, Johnson LS, Sakaluk SK, Thompson CF. 2015. Increased extra-pair paternity in broods of aging males and enhanced recruitment of extra-pair young in a migratory bird. Evolution 69:2533−2541.
  • Hodges CJ, Bowers EK, Thompson CF, Sakaluk SK. 2015. Cascading costs of reproduction in female house wrens induced to lay larger clutches. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 28:1383−1393.
  • Bowers EK, Bowden RM, Sakaluk SK, Thompson CF. 2015. Immune activation generates corticosterone-mediated terminal reproductive investment in a wild bird. American Naturalist 185:769−783.
  • Bowers EK, Thompson CF, Sakaluk SK. 2015. Persistent sex-by-environment effects on offspring fitness and sex-ratio adjustment in a wild bird population. Journal of Animal Ecology 84:473−486.
  • Sakaluk SK, Wilson A, Bowers EK, Johnson LS, Masters BS, Johnson BGP, Vogel LA, Forsman AM, Thompson CF. 2014. Genetic and environmental variation in condition, cutaneous immunity, and haematocrit in house wrens. BMC Evolutionary Biology 14:242.
  • Bowers EK, Hodges CJ, Forsman AM, Vogel LA, Masters BS, Johnson BGP, Johnson LS, Thompson CF, Sakaluk SK. 2014. Neonatal body condition, immune responsiveness, and hematocrit predict longevity in a wild bird population. Ecology 95:3027−3034.
  • Bowers EK, Sakaluk SK, Thompson CF. 2013. Sibling cooperation influences the age of nest-leaving in an altricial bird. American Naturalist 181:775−786.
  • Bowers EK, Munclinger P, Bureš S, Nádvorník P, Uvírová L, Krist M. 2013. Cross-fostering eggs reveals that female collared flycatchers adjust clutch sex ratios according to parental ability to invest in offspring. Molecular Ecology 22:215−228.
  • Bowers EK, Smith RA, Hodges CJ, Zimmerman LM, Thompson CF, Sakaluk SK. 2012. Sex-biased terminal investment in offspring induced by maternal immune challenge in the house wren (Troglodytes aedon). Proceedings of the Royal Society B 279:2891−2898.