Organisms display a rich diversity in morphological, physiological and behavioural phenotypes, both within and between species. This diversity emerges from the continues interaction between genetic factors and the internal and external environment. Together they determine the adaptive capacity of organisms through developmental plasticity and evolutionary change. Knowledge of these factors is important for understanding the implications of global change, as well as the (developmental) biology of health and disease.

To understand the underlying mechanisms as well as the ecological and evolutionary consequences of phenotypic diversity we integrate molecular, genomic and genetic approaches with physiological, neurobiological and behavioural experimentation, both in the laboratory and in the field. We do this from a fundamental as well as an applied research perspective. We study a wide array of organisms, such as insects, fish, birds, and mammals, including humans, for which we have excellent housing facilitites for studies under experimental and semi-natural conditions. Some focus areas are:

  • Sex determination & reproduction
  • Social behaviour
  • Host-parasite interactions, host-microbe interactions & innate immunity
  • Life history evolution
  • Sensory biology, including pheromonal communication
  • Hormone-mediated maternal effects
  • Individual differences, brain and behavioural lateralization and personality
  • Speciation
  • Developmental origins of health and disease

Samenwerkingen en hoofdonderzoeksgebieden uit de afgelopen vijf jaar

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