Group: Mackay Lab
PhD, University of Oregon
Office: 3543 Thomas Hall
Website: Visit our Lab Home Page
I am broadly interested in understanding the functional basis of natural variation in behavior. To study this, I use mapping populations and aim to isolate specific regions of the genome that are associated with variation in behavior, and then I examine how these specific regions influence gene expression and neurodevelopment. To address these questions I consider the role of epistasis as well as environmental variation. In my graduate work, I identified two regions of the genome that interact together in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to produce extremely thermophilic behavior, and was able to demonstrate that allelism at two different genes cause misspecification of the primary thermosensory neuron. I hope to continue this type of approach with Dr. Mackay by examining the genetic and environmental underpinnings of aggression.
Gaertner BE, Parmenter M, Rockman M, Kruglyak L, and Phillips P. (2012). More than the sum of its parts: Complex epistasis underlying thermosensory behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans. Genetics. (in review)
McCormick K, Gaertner BE, Sottile M, Phillips PC, and Lockery SR. (2011). Microfluidic devices for analysis of spatial orientation behaviors in semi-restrained Caenorhabditis elegans. PLoS ONE 6(10): e25710
Gaertner BE, and Phillips PC. (2010). Using Caenorhabditis elegans as a platform for molecular quantitative genetics and the systems biology of natural variation. Genetics Research. 92(5-6): 331–348