The brain is the organ that controls behaviour. Interestingly, brain anatomy varies enormously among animals at all taxonomic levels. Our research seeks to explain brain anatomy diversity from an evolutionary and functional perspective.

 

Artificial selection on brain anatomy and behaviour

To study how evolutionary changes in brain anatomy are associated with changes in behaviour and vice versa, we use guppy populations artificially selected for brain size, telencephalon size, and social behaviour to perform analyses of associated changes in a large suite of morphological and behavioural traits in our recently built lab facilities.

Principal Investigators: Niclas Kolm
Contributing Researchers: Alex Kotrschal, Severine Buechel, James Herbert-Read, Alberto Corral Lopez, Stephanie Fong, Wouter van der Bijl

 

Phylogenetic comparative analyses of brain anatomy and behaviour

 

To study how brain anatomy evolves and is associated with behaviour and body morphology at macroevolutionary time-scales, we run state-of-the-art phylogenetic comparative analyses across a range of taxa including cetaceans, birds, anurans, fish and insects.

Principal Investigators: Niclas Kolm, John Fitzpatrick, Alejandro Gonzalez Voyer
Contributing Researchers: Alex Kotrschal, Wouter van der Bijl