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 self-recognition to elucidate the molecular mechanisms and fundamental principles behind these actions. Our current projects focus on three main areas:

(1) Identifying the molecular components behind the self-recognition and predation behaviours

(2) Uncovering the neural circuitry required to process the self signal and prevent the cannibalism of progeny

(3) Understanding these behaviours within their ecological and evolutionary context