School of Biological Sciences

Erica Crespi


Name: Erica Crespi
Field of Study: Ecological developmental biology
Title: Assistant Professor
Degrees: Ph.D. University of Virgina, M.S. Wake Forest University
Homepage: Click
Office: Eastlick 385-A
Email: erica.crespi@wsu.edu
Phone: 509-335-3833
Mailing Address: School of Biological Sciences
Washington State University
PO Box 644236
Pullman, WA 99164-4236

Research Interests

My research seeks to understand how environmental stressors and nutrition affect early developmental processes in vertebrates. I focus on examining the ways in which the neuroendocrine stress axis and energy balance factors interact to regulate growth, morphogenesis, and immune function during early life stages. I am also interested in how these endocrine systems program later life behavior, physiology, growth, and reproduction through their organizing effects during early development. 

I primarily use amphibian model systems to study environmental and maternal effects on developmental plasticity, but I also investigate similar questions in other vertebrates. I combine molecular, cellular, endocrine and behavioral approaches to understand these complex and interrelated responses in ecological and evolutionary contexts. I strive to apply our understanding of the basic mechanisms underlying short- and long-term stress responses to adverse environmental conditions to landscape-level processes relevant to questions in conservation biology. My multidisciplinary research program allows students to work on projects in the laboratory, in the field, or both.   

Representative Publications

Londraville, R.L., Macotela, Y., Duff, R.J., Easterling, M.R., Liu, Q., Crespi E.J. 2014. Comparative endocrinology of leptin: Assessing function in a phylogenetic context. General and Comparative Endocrinology doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2014.02.002. [Epub ahead of print]

Crespi, E.J. and Unkefer, M.K. 2014. Development of food intake controls: neuroendocrine and environmental regulation of food intake during early life.  Hormones and Behavior 66:74-85. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2014.04.004.

Crespi, E.J., Warne, R.W. 2013. Environmental conditions experienced during the tadpole stage alter post-metamorphic glucocorticoid response to stress in an amphibian. Integrative and Comparative Biology 53:989-1001.

Crespi, E.J., Williams, T.D., Jessop, T.S., Delehanty, B. 2013. Life history and the ecology of stress: How do glucocorticoid hormones influence life-history variation in animals? Functional Ecology 27:93–106.

Reeve, B.C., Crespi, E.J., Whipps, C.M., Brunner, J.L. 2013. Natural stressors and ranavirus-susceptibility in wood frog tadpoles. EcoHealth 10: 90-200.

Solomon-Lane, T.K., Crespi, E.J., Grober, M.S. 2013. Stress and serial adult metamorphosis: multiple roles for the stress axis in socially regulated sex change. Frontiers in Neuroscience 7:210.

Warne, R.W., Kardon, A., Crespi, E.J. 2013. Physiological, behavioral and maternal factors that contribute to size variation in larval amphibian populations. PLoS One. 8:e76364.

Rossi, M., Caruso, F., Crespi, E.J., Pedersen, J.Z., Nakano, G., Duong, M., McKee, C., Lee, S., Jiwrajka, M., Caldwell, C., Baffour, F., Karlin, D.A., Lidoff, G., Leone, S., Balducci, V., Miler, J., Incerpi, S. 2013. Probing antioxidant activity of 2'-hydroxychalcones: crystal and molecular structures, in vitro anti-proliferative studies and in vivo effects on glucose regulation. Biochimie. 95:1954-63.

Crespi, E.J., Williams, T.D., Jessop, T., Delehanty, B. 2013. Life history and the ecology of stress: How do glucocorticoid hormones influence life history variation in animals? Functional Ecology. 27:93-106.

 Grayson, K.L., De Lisle, S.P., Jackson, J.E., Black, S.J., Crespi, E.J. 2012. Behavioral and physiological female responses to male sex ratio bias in a pond-breeding amphibian. Frontiers in Zoology. 9:24.

Crespi, E.J., Denver, R.J. 2012. Developmental reversal in neuropeptide Y action on feeding in an amphibian. General and Comparative Endocrinology 177:348-352.

Crespi, E.J. 2012. A mechanistic understanding of aging revealed by studying the young. Molecular Ecology. 21: 1307–1310.

Warne, R.W., Crespi, E.J., Brunner, J.L. 2011. The stress of infection in wood frog tadpoles: characterization of corticosterone, growth, and developmental responses to ranavirus exposure. Func. Ecol. 25:139-146.

Ledon-Rettig, C.C., D. Pfennig, and Crespi, E.J. 2010. Diet and hormonal manipulation reveal cryptic genetic variation: implications for the evolution of novel feeding strategies. Proc. Biol. Sci. 277:3569-3578.

Crespi, E.J., R.A. Browne, L.J. Rissler. 2010. Taxonomic revision of Desmognathus wrighti (Caudata: Plethodontidae). Herpetologica 66:283-295.

Ledon-Rettig, C.C., D. Pfennig, and Crespi, E.J. 2009. Stress hormones and fitness consequences associated with the transition to a novel diet in larval amphibians. Journal of Experimental Biology. 212:3743-3750.

Hu, F., Crespi, E.J., and Denver, R.J. 2008. Programming neuroendocrine stress axis activity by exposure to glucocorticoids during postembryonic development of the frog Xenopus laevis. Endocrinology. 149:5470-81.

Crespi, E.J. and Denver R.J. 2006. Molecular cloning and functional analysis of leptin (obese gene) of the South African clawed frog Xenopus laevis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. USA 103:10092-10097.

Featured on NSF Discoveries Aug. 8, 2006: http://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?cntn_id=107168&org=NSF

Crespi, E.J., Steckler, T.L., Mohankumar, P., Padmanabhan, V.  2006. Prenatal exposure to excess testosterone modifies the developmental trajectory of the IGF system in female sheep. Journal of Physiology 572:119-130.

Denver, R.J., and Crespi, E.J. 2006. Stress hormones and human developmental plasticity: lessons from tadpoles. Neoreviews 7:183-188T.

Safi R., Vlaeminck-Guillem V., Duffraisse M., Seugnet I., Plateroti M., Margotat A., Duterque-Coquillaud M., Crespi E.J., Denver R.J., Demeneix B., Laudet V. 2006. Pedomorphosis revisited: thyroid hormone receptors are functional in Necturus maculosus. Evolution and Development. 8:284-92.

Boorse, G.C., Crespi, E.J., Dautzenberg, F.M. and Denver, R.J. 2005. Urocortins from the South African clawed frog Xenopus laevis: Conservation of structure and function in tetrapod evolution. Endocrinology 146:4851-4860.

Crespi, E.J., and Denver, R.J.  2005. Roles of stress hormones in food intake regulation in anuran amphibians throughout the life cycle.  Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A 141:381-390.

Crespi, E.J., and Denver, R.J. 2005. Ancient origins of developmental plasticity in humans. American Journal of Human Biology. 17:44-54. [cover article]

Crespi E.J., and Denver, R.J. 2004. Ontogeny of corticotropin-releasing hormone effects on locomotion and foraging in the Western spadefoot toad, Spea hammondii. Hormones and Behavior 46:399-410.

Crespi, E.J., Vaudry, H., Denver, R.J. 2004.  The role of corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH), neuropeptide Y (NPY) and corticosterone in the regulation of food intake in the frog, Xenopus laevis. Journal of Neuroendocrinology. 16:279-288.

Manikkam, M., Crespi, E.J., Doop, D., Herkimer, C., Lee, J.S., Yu, S., Brown, M.B., Foster, D.L., and Padmanabhan, V. 2004. Fetal programming: prenatal testosterone excess leads to fetal growth retardation and postnatal catch-up growth in sheep. Endocrinology 145:790-798.

Crespi, E.J., and Lessig, H. 2004. Mothers influence offspring body size through post-ovipositional maternal effects in the redbacked salamander, Plethodon cinereus. Oecologia 138: 306–311.

Crespi, E.J., Rissler, L.J., and Browne, R.A. 2003. Testing Pleistocene refugia theory:  Historical biogeography of a high-elevation salamander, Desmognathus wrighti, in the southern Appalachians. Molecular Ecology 12:969-984.

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