Dr. Graham Thompson
Behavioural Genetics and Sociobiology
Our lab studies the evolutionary and developmental interplay between behaviour and genes, with a focus on how genes interact with their environment to influence the social behaviour of insects. There are multiple opportunities available for both undergraduate and graduate research within this Behavioural Genetics and Sociobiology theme. Projects are typically developed between myself and the student during their first semester, but ‘pre-made’ projects can also be assigned.
Potential projects might include:
1) Using population genetic tools to reveal the hidden structure of insect societies, to test predictions from kin theory regarding how societies are internally ‘governed’, and to study the evolution of social insects in urban environments.
2) Using DNA barcodes together with evolutionary algorithms to establish the patterns of social insect diversity, and to develop and test scenarios regarding how, when and where certain behavioural traits evolved.
3) Using gene expression techniques in conjunction with on-line bioinformatic resources to identify, characterise and comparatively study the evolution and expression of genes important to pathogen resistance and immunity in social and non-social taxa.
4) Using microarrays to screen for genes impotant to social living, including genes that might regulate selfish and altruistic behaviour within honey bee societies. A project within this ‘sociogenomics’ them could potentially be co-supervised by Dr Ernesto Guzman at the University of Guelph.
I encourage students with interests in molecular biology, evolutionary biology or animal behaviour to consider joining us! Please forward a CV, an unofficial transcript, any scholarship information and a brief description of your research interests and lab experience to moi, svp.
This page was last updated on
May 28, 2013
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