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Dr. Alfred Dufty, Jr

Former Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences until his Passing in 2012

Dr. Alfred Dufty, Jr

Dr. Alfred Dufty, Jr was an esteemed colleague, faculty member, graduate advisor, and friend to many. Read more about Dr. Dufty from his colleague, Dr. Jim Belthoff (professor and former chair of Boise State University Department of Biological Sciences and interim director of the Raptor Research Center) in the memorial article he wrote, published in The Auk: Ornithological Advances (OUP) in 2012.

Dr. Dufty’s legacy of scholarship and excellence continued on at Boise State University. Many graduate students have been able to present their research at professional conferences and meetings through the Alfred M. Dufty, Jr. Award.


  • Adjunct assistant professor at Hampden-Sydney College and State University of New York
  • Professor at Boise State University (Biology, 1988-2012)
  • Director of Graduate Studies (Biology, 1998-2003)
  • Associate Department Chair (Biology, 2003-2005)
  • Associate Dean of the Graduate College (2005-2012)


  • A. B., Princeton University, 1972
  • M.S., State University of New York at Binghamton, 1976
  • Ph.D., State University of New York at Binghamton, 1981
  • Postdoctoral Positions: The Rockefeller University, with Drs. Peter Marler and John Wingfield, 1981-1988


  • Behavioral endocrinology
  • Feathers, breeding sites, and stable isotopes
  • Natal dispersal
  • Brood parasitism


The Radioimmunoassay (RIA) Laboratory at Boise State University functioned under the direction of Dr. Alfred Dufty. It was used to measure circulating levels of steroid hormones (e.g., testosterone, estradiol, corticosterone) in blood plasma. The protocol involved initial extraction of hormones from the blood and separation of individual hormones by column chromatography. The RIA itself involved the use of tritium-labeled (hot) hormone to compete with the unlabeled (cold) hormone for binding sites on a hormone-specific antibody. A scintillation counter measured the ratio of hot:cold hormone attached to the antibody in the sample, and a determination was made based on a comparison with known standards. Dr. Dufty used the technique to investigate the physiological mechanism underlying avian responses to handling stress, dominance relationships, and changes in sex steroid hormones during the breeding season. Both graduate and undergraduate students learned the RIA technique, and the skills involved were transferable to many other laboratory situations.


See more at ResearchGate