Research Focus: Integrative Research in Behavioural Evolution
The Integrative Behaviour and Neuroscience group was founded in 2001 to research in functional and evolutionary aspects of animal behaviour. The goal of the group is to provide intellectual and physical support for integrative approaches to research that may span levels of expertise not usually within the purview of a single lab group. In so doing, the IBN creates the seed for a research focus that is unique on the tri-campus landscape and is found in only a few other institutions in North America. This is a timely addition to the UTSC research landscape. It is widely recognized that the genome sequencing efforts of the past decade or so have not produced the types of insights into phenotypic variation that were expected. Research of the type undertaken in the IBN group seeks to bridge the gap between gene and phenotype, using behaviour as a model. By explicitly including effects of natural variation in the environment on complex phenotypes, IBN research takes us one step closer to practical application of genomic data to our understanding of variation among individuals and species.