New paper is out in Heredity! In this paper, I examine the consequences of genetic variation in social choice (in flies)–if flies got to choose their own social groups, why would that matter?
I assayed the group-size preferences of multiple natural genotypes, and then forced independent individuals from those same genotypes to experience their preferred or un-preferred group sizes. Surprisingly, flies were attacked by other flies more often in their preferred group size! This was important because experience of being attacked affected the flies’ later aggressive behavior, even towards a new opponent.
I am interested in expanding this work to longer timescales, in understanding the consequences of genetic differences in preferences for habitat choice and sexual selection, and lots of other things!
What do you think? Check it out here: http://www.nature.com/hdy/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/hdy2016101a.html.
update: Rice did a press release about the paper that was picked up by Futurity and phys.org. Also an interview about the paper will be featured on the Heredity podcast–I’ll post the link once it’s live.