January 28th

The Schedule for the semester

see the course description page for links to suggested topics



Who-is-who & Snacks


January 28






February 4






February 11

Rittschof and Robinson



Topic 1 Behavior


February 19

Topic 1 Genomics


Topic 2 Behavior


February 26

Topic 2 Genomics


Topic 3 Behavior


March 5

Topic 3 Genomics


Topic 4 Behavior


March 12

Topics 4 Genomics


Topic 5 Behavior


March 19

Topic 5 Genomics




March 26


April 2



Topic 6 Behavior


April 9

Topic 6 Genomics


Topic 7 Behavior


April 16

Topic 7 Genomics


Topic 8 Behavior


April 23

Topic 8 Genomics



April 30

Grant Proposal Discussion

















examples of question sets from papers in past years:

  • What is genetic assimilation? (can you draw it graphically?)
  • What is genetic accommodation? (can you draw it graphically?)
  • Figure 3 in (Latta et al) is quite difficult at first. Don't fret! We will go over it in depth. After careful dissection, consider the following:
    • What is the overall point of presenting us with Figure 3 as Figure 4 has they generally all the same information PLUS more? (Hint: look to Figure 3 of Renn & Schumer's review)
  • Did Latta et al meet the four criteria proposed by Renn & Schumer?
  • Any other promising, ideal systems for future (or currently ongoing) study not proposed in the review?
  • How possible is it to satisfy all four criteria?
  • Any proposals for such a study (if you had unlimited funding)?
  • With regards to the data presented by Latta & colleagues: 
    • What next experiments would Latta et al want to perform?
    • What next experiments would Renn & Schumer propose?
    • What do you propose they test?
  • Tinbergen outlined the four domains of inquiry through which animal behavior could be studied. However, these four approaches are clearly used in other fields as well, such as physiology as seen in Latta et al. How does the study performed by Latta & colleagues probe each of the 4 domains? 


How might you remake these figures to be more understandable?
Is there an actual difference between P and I subgroups given the results in the rescreening?
Is a comparison to the base population an accurate control for rescreening?
Why might LFA be inversely correlated with all other aggression measurements?
What might be the adaptive value of having a consistently smaller and less aggressive us population of males?
Is it fair to say that given the mRNA data, metabolism and circadian rhythm is related to personality?
The authors on occasion mention that 'personality affects key cellular processes in the zebrafish'.
....Is this a chicken or the egg question? Can you think of a better control for the GO analyses?
What do you think about R and P having significantly less transcript variation in comparison to the base population?
..... What does it tell us?
Rey et al. approaches animal personality as dichotomous phenomenons, rather than personality traits that fall on a spectrum (where some individuals are more proactive or reactive than others).
.... Do you think that's appropriate?
.... How would the experimental design have to change to address this question?
.... More broadly - what might be the relevancy of this work outside the scope of understanding zebrafish behavior?
What follow up experiments might you do?
Also figures 3 and 4 were a little challenging so make sure to give them a close look.