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EVOLUTION AND ANIMAL BEHAVIOR

Evolutionary biologists examine biological diversity and organismal design at all levels of biological organization—from the interactions among genes within organisms to interactions of species within communities and ecosystems. The diverse and integrative nature of evolutionary biology is reflected in the research of the Evolution and Animal Behavior faculty. We are an interactive group with research interests spanning how the interrelationships among genes, proteins, physiology, and behavior translate into trait variation that influences microevolutionary processes. We are also interested in how microevolutionary processes lead to the formation of new species and larger macroevolutionary patterns in biological diversity.

Specific research areas include elucidating the genetic architecture of life history traits in plants and animals, biological constraints on the abilities of animals to adapt behaviorally to experience, the evolution of communication and signaling systems in animals, sexual selection and the evolution of reproductive strategies, the evolutionary ecology of species interactions, tracing the evolutionary history of trait evolution and interacting species, and examining plant evolutionary responses to climate change. We study a diversity of organisms ranging from model systems to previously un-described species, and we work in both laboratory and field settings that take us around the globe.