Research Seminar: Dr Kate Laskowski - Leibniz Institute

10 December 2018, 1.00 PM - 10 December 2018, 2.00 PM

Dr Kate Laskowski hosted by Dr Christos Ioannou

Life Sciences Seminar Room G13/G14


Social and developmental drivers of individual behavioral variation in a clonal fish


Individual behavioural variation is ubiquitous across the animal kingdom. The presence of this variation has shifted the focus in behavioural and evolutionary ecology from one of trait means to one of trait variances. Classic quantitative genetics predicts that such phenotypic variation, including behavioural variation, should arise as a result of variation in genetics and the environment. However, here I show results that challenge this classic paradigm: considerable individual behavioural variation develops even among genetically identical clonal fish raised under identical conditions. This suggests that the traditional theory explaining the presence of individual phenotypic variation is limited by only focusing on what generates this variation but not how. Using this clonal fish, the Amazon molly, I explore how early life experiences, in particular social experiences can generate feedback mechanisms that ultimately drive the emergence of behavioural individuality even among otherwise identical animals. Such developmental processes provide a potentially general mechanism to explain the widespread presence of such incredible behavioural diversity we see in the world. 

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Dr Kate Laskowski

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