Behavior is among the most complex phenotypes. After the long debate over nature versus nurture, we now know that many behaviors, from worms to humans, are at least partially controlled by genetic variation. However, the genetic architecture that underpins the stunning variation of behavior in nature remains largely unknown.
I aim to unravel the general principles of the genetics underlying behavioral evolution with two foci: (1) Mechanism: how many and which genes and genomic regions underlie variation in behavior? (2) Process: how have evolutionary forces – mutation, selection, recombination and population history – shaped and maintained the genetic diversity underlying the behavior? To tackle these questions, I integrate multiple disciplines, ranging from behavioral ecology to molecular biology and population genomics.