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Tracy Burkhard

Postdoctoral fellow
University of Montpellier

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My activity

I am an NSF postdoctoral research fellow based at both CEFE and ISEM. I am interested in understanding how phenotypic and genetic variation allows populations to respond to environmental change. Addressing this question requires close consideration of underlying mechanisms, including behavior, genetic architecture, and epigenetic innovations. In my current work, I focus on house mouse (Mus musculus) populations across an urban-rural gradient. First, I am characterizing differences in “animal personalities” of populations of urban and rural mice. Behaviors contributing to animal personality, including boldness, exploration, and activity, are considered particularly important to the response to change because they influence how animals engage with their surroundings, interact with competitors, and try new food sources. Second, I am characterizing the genetic and epigenetic architecture underlying behavioral differences with association studies and quantitative genetics models.

Keywords :

Behavioral syndromes – Ecological genomics – Quantitative genetics – Mus musculus – Urban ecology