Animals exhibit a tremendous variety of ways to obtain food, defend against predators, and interact socially. The family of cichlid fish consists of about 2000 species, and has evolved a variety of morphologies and behaviors to solve the basic needs of survival, feeding, and reproduction. What are the genetic programs that control these processes? Cichlids offer the opportunity to discover the genes responsible, because they are very closely related, and several of their genomes have been sequenced. Researchers have developed powerful technologies for identifying these genes.
Our lab takes a multidisciplinary approach to understand this important model for the roots of social behavior. Welcome!