Our Lab Interests:

Alex-logoupdate-2014-hiresA central goal of our research is to understand the proximate control of social behavior and the ultimate consequences of these behaviors. Research in our lab utilizes classic field and laboratory techniques in combination with modern molecular tools to examine the roles of specific brain regions in coordinating social recognition and diverse attributes of temperament related to attachment, aggression, and care-giving.

Research in our lab explores existing individual variation in behavior and the underlying mechanisms involved in prosocial behavior (e.g., partner fidelity), anti-social behavior (e.g., territory defense), socio-spatial cognition (e.g., social recognition and spatial memory), mating decisions (e.g., alternative reproductive tactics) and fitness (e.g., offspring survival). Specifically we focus on the neuropeptides vasopressin and oxytocin. By investigating the roles of oxytocin, vasopressin and their receptors in multiple social domains, we hope to better understand the substrates of social cognition, socio-emotional behavior, mate choice, mating strategies and consequences of paternal care on offspring development.

General topics of interest:

Individual differences in genes, brain and behavior; Behavioral neuroendocrinology; Comparative ethology; Cognitive ecology; Animal communication; Social learning & cultural transmission.