Ph.D. Biology – Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology. University of Utah
B.S. Zoology. University of Washington

Email: thorton@northwestern.edu

Phone: 847-467-1686
Office: 1819 Hinman Ave., Third Floor



As a human biologist, I am an interdisciplinary scientist. I use the theories and techniques of anthropology, behavioral endocrinology, ecology, evolution, physiology, and psychology to investigate the mechanisms by which organisms, including humans, adapt to their environment. My early work focused on the neural and endocrine mechanisms by which rodents adapt to seasonal changes in day length, temperature, and energy availability; mechanisms that enable animals to be flexible in the face of environmental change. This work contributed to the rapidly expanding body of literature demonstrating the evolutionary significance of early life experiences (including pre- and peri-natal) and the developmental origins of health and disease.

Since joining the Laboratory for Human Biology Research in the Department of Anthropology, I have been able to use my knowledge and skills to conduct studies that speak directly to the question of how the environment influences human health and well-being. Just as wild species show impaired physical and mental health when removed from their optimal environments, so do humans. While much necessary and important research has documented the negative effects of the environment on health (e.g., brownfields, air pollution, lead contamination), researchers have only relatively recently focused on documenting the salutary effects of high quality green and blue spaces. My current research uses biomarkers and psychological assessments to test the hypothesis that access to natural landscapes contributes to improved health, wellbeing, and resilience of humans by offering an escape from the stressors of urban life.


Research Gate page

  1. Sleiter N., Pang Y., Park C., Horton T.H., Dong J., Thomas P., Levine J.E. (2009). Progesterone receptor A (PRA) and PRB-independent effects of progesterone on gonadotropin-releasing hormone release. Endocrinology, 150:3833-3844.
  2. Schneider, J. S., Burgess, C., Horton, T. H., Levine, J. E. (2009). Effects of progesterone on malemediated infant-directed aggression. Behav Brain Res, 199, 340-4.
  3. Huang W., Acosta-Martinez M., Horton T.H., Levine J.E. (2008). Fasting-induced suppression of LH secretion does not require activation of ATP-sensitive potassium channels. American Journal of Physiology, 295:E1439-1446.
  4. Foecking, E.M., M.A. McDevitt, M. Acosta-Martinez, T.H. Horton, Levine, J.E. (2008). Neuroendocrine consequences of androgen excess in female rodents. Horm Behav, 53:673- 92.
  5. Acosta-Martinez, M, Horton, T. H., Levine, JE. 2007. Estrogen receptors in neuropeptide Y neurons: at the crossroads of feeding and reproduction. Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, 18:48-50.
  6. Miller, BH, Olson, SL, Levine, JE, Turek FW, Horton T. H., Takahashi JS. (2006). Vasopressin Regulation of the Proestrous Luteinizing Hormone Surge in Wildtype and Clock Mutant Mice. Biol Reprod, 75:778-784.
  7. Paul MJ, Park JH, Horton T. H., Alvarez MI, Burke MK, Place NJ, and Zucker, I. (2006). Photoperiodic regulation of compensatory testicular hypertrophy in hamsters. Biol Reprod, 75(2):261-9.
  8. Prendergast BJ, Hotchkiss AK, Wen J, Horton T. H., and Nelson RJ. (2006). Refractoriness to short day lengths augments tonic and gonadotrophin-releasing hormone-stimulated luteinising hormone secretion. J Neuroendocrinology, 18(5):339-348.
  9. Horton, T. H. (2005). Fetal origins of developmental plasticity: animal models of induced life history variation. Am J Hum Biol, 17:34-43.
  10. Miller BH, Olson SL, Turek FW, Levine JE, Horton T. H., and Takahashi JS. (2004). Circadian clock mutation disrupts estrous cyclicity and maintenance of pregnancy. Curr Biol, 14:1367-1373.


  1. A Healthy Dose of Nature. (2019).WWTW Chicago Public Media.