Charlene is currently a Ph.D. student under the supervision of Dr. Gregoy Bédécarrats. Her project will focus on determining the molecular and endocrinological basis underlying the continuous increase in laying persistency observed in the commercial strains. More specifically, by comparing unselected and selected lines for egg production, Charlene will investigate and compare the involvement of the hypothalamic-pituitary gonadal (HPG) axis on egg production, along with associated hormones. During her undergraduate research project, Charlene was able to identify a second peak in estradiol occurring late in the laying cycle, at a time when production should normally decline. Identifying the reasons behind this second surge in estradiol will be a major focus. As we suspect this event comes from the ovary, she will also conduct research on understanding the organization and dynamics of the ovarian follicle hierarchy in order to understand the significant increase in cumulative egg numbers observed over the last few decades.