April 9 2015

5:00 pm BSRB 154

Devaleena Pradhan
University of California, Los Angeles

Integration of social context and fitness in the behavioral neuroendocrinolgy of the bluebanded goby, Lythrypnus dalli


Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology - EcoEvoPub Series
Devaleena Pradhan
Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology
University of California, Los Angeles

"Integration of social context and fitness in the behavioral neuroendocrinolgy of the bluebanded goby, Lythrypnus dalli"

In many group-living species, social complexity is integrated with endocrine function to regulate reproductive behavior. For species in which the social environment determines sex, activating molecules, such as steroid hormones, play an important role in the reorganization of anatomy and behavior and maintaining sexually dimorphic phenotype. Steroid hormones are critical regulators of reproductive life history, and the steroid sensitive traits (morphology, behavior, physiology) associated with particular life history stages can have substantial fitness consequences for an organism. Sex changing fish are excellent models for providing a deeper understanding of the fitness consequences associated with behavioral and endocrine variation. I explore these different levels of analyses by focusing on the fascinating life history transitions exhibited by the bi-directionally hermaphroditic fish, Lythrypnus dalli. Stable and transitioning L. dalli social groups housed in a semi-natural laboratory environment offer several opportunities to investigate the role of social context in regulation of reproductive behavior. I propose how we can improve our understanding of behavioral endocrinology by incorporating fitness measures in our experiments and better interpret the mechanisms that regulate transitions among phenotypes. Finally, I propose a model for how these factors interact to influence the expression of phenotype. Given the diversity of mechanisms known to regulate steroid actions, a comparative species approach that integrates hormones and behavior in the service of fitness will greatly facilitate progress in this field.











































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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