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• Perinatal Development

• Parental Behavior and Parent-Offspring Relations

• Weaning

• Ontogenetic Adaptation

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Alberts Laboratory
1010 E 13th St
Bloomington, IN 47408
(812) 855-3309


Space and Gravitational Biology

shuttleThe Alberts Lab has three times participated in space flight experiments. “Pregnant rats in space” has been our payload moniker.  These are challenging and exciting research opportunities. We bring the approaches of developmental psychobiology to the space program, which previously has not included behavior as an important topic. 

Star Enterprises, Inc. is a small business that was launched to pursue science-based, animal-guided hardware development for spaceflight research.  The company was a leader in equipping the planned laboratory for the U.S. Centrifuge Facility on the International Space Station, until the science module was abandoned. Star Enterprises continues to function in the field of space biology, and is also venturing into allied pursuits in biotechnological research.


Selected Publications space

Alberts, J. R., Serova, L. V., Keefe, J. R., & Apanasenko, Z. (1985). Early postnatal development of rats gestated during flight of Cosmos 1514. The Physiologist, 28(S81-S82).

Alberts, J. R., Serova, L. V., Keefe, J. R., & Apanasenko, Z. (1986). Early postnatal development of rats derived from Cosmos 1514, NASA Technical Memorandum 88223 (pp. 145-188).

Keefe, J. R., Alberts, J. R., Krasnov, I. B., & Serova, L. V. (1986). Developmental morphology of the eye, vestibular system and brain in 18-day fetal and newborn rats exposed in utero to null gravity during flight of Cosmos 1514, NASA Technical Memorandum 88223 (pp. 189-279).

Malacinski, G. M., Neff, A. W., Alberts, J. R., & Souza, K. A. (1989). Developmental biology in outer space. BioScience, 39(5), 314-320. PDF

Alberts, J. R., & Souza, K. E. (1993). Ontogenesis of mammals in microgravity, Introduction to O.Gazenko (Ed.) Ontogenesis of mammals in microgravity.  NASA Technical Memorandum 103978 (pp. 1-2).

Alberts, J. R., & Ronca, A. E. (1997). Rat pregnancy and parturition survive spaceflight challenge: New considerations of developmental consequences. Journal of Gravitational Physiology, 4(2), 55-58.

Alberts, J. R., & Ronca, A. E. (1999). Effects of gravity on development: The importance of behavior. Journal of Gravitational Physiology, 6(1), P5-8.

Plaut, K., Maple, R., Vyas, C., Munaim, S., Darling, A., Casey, T., et al. (1999). The effects of spaceflight on mammary metabolism in pregnant rats. Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine (New York, N Y ), 222(1), 85-89. PDF

Alberts, J. R., & Ronca, A. E. (2005). Development as adaptation: A paradigm for gravitational and space biology. Advances in Space Biology and Medicine, 10, 175-207. PDF

Ronca, A. E., Fritzsch, B., Bruce, L. L., & Alberts, J. R. (2008). Orbital spaceflight during pregnancy shapes function of mammalian vestibular system. Behavioral neuroscience, 122(1), 224-232. PDF