Fay Guarraci

Professor of Psychology Fay Guarraci was recently awarded the American Psychological Foundations 2021 Division 1–Society for General Psychology Mary Whiton Calkins Grant. The grant will support research on the development of an animal model of puberty delay and gender-affirming hormone treatment to better understand the long-term outcomes of puberty suppression and adult hormone treatment in the context of gender transition. Mary Whiton Calkins was the first woman to preside as president of the American Psychological Association in 1905.

—September 2021

Professor of Psychology Fay Guarraci recently published an article that was a collaboration across three countries investigating the patterning of male sexual behavior in two strains of rats. The article, “Male Rat Sexual Behavior: Insights from Inter-Copulatory Intervals,” was published in Behavioral Processesthis month.

—September 2021

Kate Davis ’20 and Hannah Hanson ’22 conducted a SCOPE project under the supervision of Professor of Psychology Fay Guarraci, which was recently published in Physiology & Behavior. This collaboration also involved Jessica Bolton ’10, who will soon begin a tenure-track position at Georgia State University. Davis, a current graduate student in the Department of Neuroscience at The University of Texas at Austin, designed the project, and together, the team found that using an animal model of poverty caused long-term deleterious effects on reproductive physiology and behavior. Neonatal poverty disrupted maternal behavior, which accelerated physiological maturation in females but delayed sexual maturation in males. However, both male and female rats displayed enhanced sexual motivation. These results have implications for precocious sexual behavior and disrupted puberty in children who are born into poverty. This research was also supported by a Sam Taylor Award. 

—October 2020

Recent alumni Maryam Ali ’20, Michael Broyle ’20, Kate Davis ’20, Chantal Gonzalez ’19, Devon Lucero ’19, and Lainey Stary ’19 and Professor of Psychology Fay Guarraci published a new research project investigating the long-term effects of neonatal exposure to a component of soy (genistein) on male and female reproductive physiology and behavior in the journal Behavioural Pharmacology. Although this research was conducted in rats, it suggests that there may be some consequences of feeding neonates soy-based formula.

—October 2020

For the first time, members of Professor of Psychology Fay Guarraci’s team of researchers, the Guarraci Lab, had two articles accepted for publication as companion papers in the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior. These two papers reflect a collaboration between the Guarraci Lab and Sarah Meerts from Carleton College and her student. The SU coauthors include current psychology major Shannon Odell ’20; recent psychology graduates Kate Davis ’20, Wes Clemmons ’20, and Beth Henneman ’20; Maryam Ali ’19 (biology); as well as alumnae Chantal Gonzalez ’19 (psychology) and Devon Lucero ’19 (animal behavior). The first article is titled “I. Antidepressants and Sexual Behavior: Weekly Ketamine Injections Increases Sexual Behavior Initially in Female and Male Rats.” This work was supported by multiple SCOPE awards and a Sam Taylor Award. The second article is titled “II: Antidepressants and Sexual Behavior: Acute Fluoxetine, but not Ketamine, Disrupts Paced Mating Behavior in Sexually Experienced Female Rats.”

—September 2020