In this video, Caitlin Cowan, PhD, describes her work, which examines the effects of early-life stress on the timing of puberty onset in the rat.  This work highlights the importance of the effects of early life stress on  physical development.  Dr. Cowan and her colleagues found that the onset of the physical signs of puberty were delayed for male rodents who experienced early life stress, but for female rodents, the physical signs of puberty were accelerated.  Furthermore, this team of researchers found that the administration of probiotics reversed the effects of the exposure to the early life stress.

Dr. Cowan’s work won a Dissertation Award from the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology in 2018.  Caitlin Cowan received her PhD under the direction of Dr. Rick Richardson, at the University of New South Wales in Australia.  Currently, Dr. Cowan is a researcher at the APC Microbiome Institute, University College Cork, in Ireland.

The video was filmed with editing assistance from Mr. Ryan Carceller.