Science Café guest Nick Hobbs to discuss diet, hormones and sex

Nicholas Hobbs
Nicholas Hobbs

WHAT: University of Nebraska at Kearney Science Café
HOSTED BY: Sigma Xi The Scientific Research Society
TITLE: Talking Sex With Tinbergen
SPEAKER: Nick Hobbs, UNK assistant professor of biology, received his B.S. in organismal biology from the University of Kansas in 2004. He received his Ph.D. in 2012 from the University of Memphis, where he studied how food availability and food quality affected sexual behaviors in meadow voles (field mice). He then went on to a postdoctoral position in the Breedlove/Jordan Lab in the Neuroscience Program at Michigan State University, where he studied how androgens, such as testosterone, affect the brain and behavior of mice lacking the androgen receptor.
TOPIC: Niko Tinbergen, one of the founders of ethology, devised four questions he believed should be asked of every behavior. These questions can be divided into two categories: proximate questions and ultimate questions. Proximate questions ask how behaviors occur, whereas ultimate questions ask why behaviors occur. Throughout his academic career, Hobbs has used these questions as a foundation for his research. As a graduate student at University of Memphis, he focused on addressing ultimate questions related to how diet affects behaviors in meadow voles (field mice), which they use to attract and indicate interest in potential mates. As a postdoctoral researcher at Michigan State, he examined proximate questions relating to how hormones, specifically testosterone, affect the brain and behavior of mice. As assistant professor at UNK, Hobbs plans to integrate his training as a graduate student and postdoctoral researcher to address questions associated with sex differences using both kinds of questions.
TIME: 5:30 p.m.
DATE: Monday, Oct. 23
PLACE: The Loft, Cunningham’s Journal, 15 W. 23rd St., Kearney
CONTACT: Allen A. Thomas, assistant professor of chemistry, 308.865.8452,


Writer: Todd Gottula, Director of Communications, 308.865.8454,
Source: Allen A. Thomas, assistant professor of chemistry, 308.865.8452,