Our group focuses on the ecological and evolutionary causes and consequences of phenotypic and genotypic variation.
Primary topics we address includes identifying i) what factors maintain within-population behavioral variation, ii) how and why the behavioral responses of individuals covary, and iii) the evolutionary and ecological consequences of this variation and behavioral covariance. Within this framework considerable attention has been given to the study of behavioral correlations, typically under the label “behavioral syndromes” or "animal personalities. Our research into syndromes/personalities is directed toward asking general questions grounded in ecological and evolutionary theory.
Beyond just behavior, the presence of within-population phenotypic variation has been found to strongly affect population dynamics. This continuing area of interest nicely dovetails with other topics, expanding research in the lab general ecological questions, including population and community dynamics.
Check out the Publications page for an idea about the general types of questions on which the Evolutionary Ecology of Variation lab group works and publishes.