Lightfoot Lab

We are interested in the neurogenetics and evolution of behaviours. To do this we compare behavioural differences between the comparative nematode systems of Pristionchus pacificus and Caenorhabditis elegans. In particular we explore the striking behaviours of predation, cannibalism, and kin-recognition to elucidate the molecular mechanisms and fundamental principles behind these actions. Our current projects focus on three main areas: 

(1) Identifying the genetic, molecular mechanisms and neurobiological circuits regulating the evolution of P. pacificus predation behaviours. 

(2) Identifying the genetic, molecular mechanisms and neurobiological circuits regulating the evolution of P. pacificus kin-recognition behaviours. 

(3) Developing and improving P. pacificus methods including molecular techniques and behavioural tracking.




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