Over time, we would expect natural selection to favor those variants that can respond appropriately to a number of environmental conditions such as temperature, water quality, food availability, and, sometimes, even light. For cnidarians, this means changing foraging strategies, reproductive methods, and life histories. Reduced glutathione is the major antioxidant defense in animals cells. The ratio of reduced to oxidized forms of the molecule can serve as an indication of the oxidative state and metabolic activity of the cell. In hydra, reduced glutathione initiates a feeding response despite the absence of food. When well-fed, hydra tend to engage in asexual reproduction by budding. As in colonial cnidarians, hydra shift to sexual reproduction under environmental stress. Thus, glutathione may serve an important role in adjusting life history strategies in response to metabolic signals. The focus of my current research is to determine the connections between indicators of food availability and activation of pathways leading to budding in an evolutionary and ecological context.