Joel Levine

University of Toronto

Evolutionary Implications of Drosophila Social Networks

3:00 pm, Friday 24 May 2024

Location: Florence Buchanan Lecture Theatre, Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics

 Abstract:  Understanding the biology of social groups is a central research problem in
neurobehavioral biology. It requires a combination of genetic, biochemical,
physiological, and behavioral approaches. Recent research on Drosophila sociality,
from my lab and others, has emphasized the role of social context on a wide range of
phenomena, extending from gene expression to mating to decision making. I will
discuss how we use a social network approach to understand the role of social
organization on species segregation and the genetic contributions to social structure
in Drosophila social groups. Adding a social biology perspective to questions across
various biological fields is essential to fully understanding the biology of all organisms
and promises to reveal novel insights arising from group-level behavior.

Biography: Joel Levine is Professor of Biology at the University of Toronto at Mississauga. He received
his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1993 for work on
retinohypothalamic projections in the female albino rat and subsequently was a post-doctoral
fellow with F. Rob Jackson at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology, studying
the genetic basis of biological clocks in Drosophila; with Steven Reppert at Harvard Medical
School, studying circadian mechanisms in the silkmoth Antheria pernyi; and with Nobel
laureate, Jeff Hall at Brandeis University, where he began to study the neurogenetics of social
behavior in the fly. Levine started his own lab at the University of Toronto in 2004