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Donna L. ManeyProfessor


Dr. Maney received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Cornell University and her PhD in Neurobiology and Behavior at the University of Washington. She then went on to complete postdoctoral fellowships at The Rockefeller University and Johns Hopkins University. She joined the Emory faculty in 2002.


My lab is interested in hormonal and genetic influences on social behavior. For the past decade, we have been studying a “supergene” in white-throated sparrows that is mimicking the early evolution of sex chromosomes. This species has been called “the bird with four sexes” because this autosomal supergene is present in only one member of each breeding pair, segregates with male-like social behaviors, and is experiencing suppression of recombination and subsequent differentiation from its homolog, just like the mammalian Y chromosome. My lab has identified several genes inside this supergene that appear to be causal for the behavioral phenotype, which although it is male-like, occurs 50% of the time in females. 

I am also interested in sex differences in humans and how those differences impact education and public health. A major focus of my work is to investigate how sex differences are tested for and reported in biomedical research. Scientists have a responsibility not only to include females in our studies but also to minimize bias and sexism in the design and the reporting of research. It is therefore a major mission of my lab to promote inclusivity and scientific rigor in the study of sex differences and women’s health. I am currently a core member of Neurogenderings, a network of scientists and scholars who critically evaluate how scientific knowledge about sex differences in the brain is produced. I also serve as a Councilor for the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences (OSSD), a group that seeks to promote understanding of sex differences by facilitating interdisciplinary collaborations.


  • PSYC 190: Neurobiology of Sex Differences
  • PSYC 320/BIO 320: Animal Behavior
  • PSYC 427: Hormones, Brain, and Behavior
  • PSYC 770R: Grant Writing