Exploring a potential link between foraging with dispersal via the foraging gene

Project Description: 

Dispersal has important ecological and evolutionary consequences for all animals, yet little is understood about the mechanisms affecting dispersal. As such, we are testing whether the genes that influence foraging behaviour in fruit flies is a potential mechanism underlying dispersal in this species. Our goal is to understand whether dispersal patterns that are frequently observed in natural animal populations can arise from genes that influence differences in foraging behaviour. For this reason we will mark and recapture fruit flies that carry genes of interest. These genes occur in natural populations of fruit flies in the Toronto area (Sokolowski 1980). The potential involvement of foraging genes in movement over greater distances could contribute to our understanding of ecological processes such as metapopulation dynamics and gene flow between populations.

Principal Investigator: 

Mark Fitzpatrick, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough

Other Investigators: 
Murray McConnell, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology,University of Toronto
Anders Vesterberg, Department of Cell and Systems Biology, University of Toronto
Noah Frank, Department of Biological Sciences University of Toronto Scarborough

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