February 2nd:

Rittschof and Robinson Discussion

All Students will read Rittschoff and Robinson and come ready to discuss the extent to which genomics is showing us new kinds of questions and previously unknowable answers. Answering the questions below should help focus discussion.

Rittschof CC & Robinson GE (2014) Genomics: moving behavioral ecology beyond the phenotypic gambit Animal Behaviour 92:263-270.

1) Make a list of any term, technique or concept that is not familiar to you and do some web-research to learn more on a few.

2) What is the goal of this paper? 
How well do the authors accomplish their goals, and what points are most effective?

3) Think of a couple of examples of convergent evolution of behavioral phenotypes.
How does the example of the eye (Pax6; pg 264) have potentially interesting implications for behavioral ecologists studying behavioral adaptations?

4) What experimental evidence would support the hypothesis of a “behavioral toolkit”?

5) How are gene expression profiles linked to behavioral phynotypes?

6) The authors claim that genomics approaches allow one to learn more about or even predict the behavior of animals and understand individual variation. To what extent do you agree?

7) Explain how gene expression studies can be used to understand how plasticity evolves and how it influences evolution.

8) Why do the authors think that genomics should “resonate” with behavioral ecologists and provide synergistic approaches? Do you agree, disagree, see other reasons or obstacles?

who is who by Suzy Renn