Matthew Fuxjager

Assistant Professor of Biology

PhD, Zoology; University of Wisconsin, Madison
MS, Biology; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
BS, Neuroscience; Pomona College

206 Winston Hall
Phone: (336) 758-5481
Email: fuxjagmj at

Laboratory Website

Research Interests

I study the hormonal mechanisms of complex social behavior and how evolution shapes these mechanisms to influence species variation in social traits. My research mainly focuses on the interplay between sex steroids and behavior. I am currently using birds to pursue this line of work, including tropical birds (manakins) that perform acrobatic courtship displays and temperate birds here in North Carolina that vigorously defend territories. However, I have very broad interests in the endocrine basis of behavior and am comfortable working in a range of vertebrate models. My research program overall is quite integrative, combining concepts and techniques from the fields of physiology, neurobiology, ethology, and evolution.

Recent Publications

Fuxjager, M.J., Heston, J.B. and B.A. Schlinger. (2014) Peripheral androgen action helps modulate vocal production in a suboscine passerine. The Auk, 131:327-334.

Fuxjager, M.J., Longpre, K.M., Chew, J.G, Fusani, L. and Schlinger, B.A. (2013). Peripheral androgen receptors sustain the acrobatics and fine motor skill of elaborate male courtship. Endocrinology, 154: 3168-3177.

Fuxjager, M.J., Schultz, J.D., Barske, J., Feng, N.Y., Fusani, L., Mirzatoni, A., Day, L.B., Hau, M. and Schlinger, B.A. (2012). Spinal motor and sensory neurons are androgen targets in an acrobatic bird. Endocrinology, 153: 3780-3791.

Lopez, J.K. and Fuxjager, M.J. (2012). Self-deception’s adaptive value: effects of positive thinking and the winner effect. Consciousness and Cognition, 21: 315-324.

Fuxjager, M.J., Montgomery, J.L. and Marler, C.A. (2011). Species differences in the winner effect disappear in response to post-victory testosterone manipulations. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 278: 3497-3503.

Fuxjager, M.J., Oyegbile, T.O. and C.A. Marler. (2011). Independent and additive contributions of post-victory testosterone and social experience to the development of the winner effect. Endocrinology, 152: 3422-3429.

Fuxjager, M.J., Forbes-Lorman, R.L., Coss, D.J., Auger, C.J., Auger, A.P. and Marler, C.A. (2010). Winning territorial disputes selectively enhances androgen sensitivity in neural pathways related to motivation and social aggression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 107: 12393-12398.

Fuxjager, M.J. and Marler, C.A. (2010). How and why the winner effect forms: influences of contest environment and species differences. Behavioral Ecology, 21: 37-45.