Assistant Professor Christine Lattin Named 2024 LSU Rainmaker

March 20, 2024

Christine LattinChristine Lattin, an Assistant Professor in LSU's Department of Biological Sciences, has been named one of six 2024 Rainmakers by the LSU Council on Research. The award is given to faculty members at the university who have made substantial contributions to their field. 

Lattin is originally from the other end of the Mississippi River in Minnesota. While at Tufts University, she earned her PhD in biology and brought her talents to the south in 2018 to work with more than 30 undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students to build the foundation of a thriving research program at LSU. 

"The focus of my lab's research is trying to understand how animals respond to a broad range of different types of stressors that they encounter," said Lattin. "That can be from anything from urbanization and changing landscapes to parasites and pathogens."

Lattin inspecting a house sparrow nestResearch shows that the neurobiological and hormone systems in many animals are similar to humans, and could be used to understand how people get stressed or anxious. 

"I absolutely think that people have to cope with a lot of stressors and as a society we all dealt with a two-year-long chronic stressor in the form of COVID," said Lattin. "Understanding how stress works and what are the traits that make animals resilient or vulnerable to stressors can help us understand that in our own species."

The assistant professor was also recently awarded the National Science Foundation’s early-career award in 2023. This five-year grant allows her to continue her research on neophobia, or fear of new things, in house sparrows. 

"It's really nice to get this recognition," said Lattin. "The fact that my colleagues in the department nominated me for the award means a lot to me. I feel very honored and proud that my research and contributions to LSU have been acknowledged in this way."