Download a podcast of Dr Michael Goodisman presenting at the first ACEBB seminar of 2011.
Associate Professor of Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Dr Michael presented on “The evolutionary genetic causes and consequences of sociality in insects”
Abstract: The evolution of sociality represented one of the major transition points in evolutionary history. We are interested in understanding how evolutionary processes affect social systems and how sociality, in turn, affects the course of evolution. The main subjects of our research are the social insects, which display the most advanced levels of sociality and dominate ecological communities because of their sophisticated group behaviours. Our recent research has focused on understanding the molecular underpinnings of social behaviour. I will discuss studies aimed at deciphering how epigenetic inheritance affects the formation of social insect castes. In addition, I will present information on how gene evolution is coupled to phenotypic variation in insect societies. Overall, our research helps link molecular processes to the evolution of advanced societies and phenotypic diversity.