Back to All Events

ASAB Winter meeting 2019

The social environment as a driver of behavioural plasticity within and between generations: From genes to behaviour

For this year's ASAB Winter Meeting, organised by Samantha Patrick, Niels Dingemanse and Julien Martin, we invite presentations on theoretical or empirical questions about behavioural plasticity and its links with the social environment.

Registration is now open. Deadline for submitting a talk or a poster is the 23rd of September 2019

Meeting website:

Conference outline

Social interactions, both within and between generations, characterize all major taxa, including animals, plants, and micro-organisms, and thus represent a major phenomenon. Many behavioural traits that animals express are modified as a function of phenotypes expressed by conspecifics around them. This form of plasticity, termed here social responsiveness, is very common in nature. In particular we know that within generation effects, such as sibling and conspecific competition, and among generations effects, such as parent-offspring conflict, shape an individual’s phenotype from the level of gene expression through to behavioural traits. However, the predicted crucial role that social interactions play in the shaping individual phenotype remains relatively underexplored in evolutionary behavioural ecology research.

Social responsiveness is relevant to a large number of research areas studied in behavioural ecology, but a heuristic integrative framework is currently missing. Recent calls for the incorporation of evolutionary theory (e.g. quantitative genetics paradigms) alongside physiological investigations (e.g. pace of life) in behavioural ecology studies of such social interactions highlight the importance of bringing together researchers across disparate fields. Speakers at the forefront of the field of behavioural plasticity will cover molecular, physiological and behavioural approaches and will provide a unique networking opportunity for behavioural scientist to engage with geneticists and physiologists to truly understand how mechanistic approaches underpin individual differences in behaviour.

Invited speakers

Sinead English, University of Bristol.

Alastair Wilson, University of Exeter.

Julia Saltz, Rice University.

Tinbergen Lecturer

Rebecca Kilner, University of Cambridge.

Updated 20.08.19

Earlier Event: 26 August
ASAB Summer Conference 2019
Later Event: 15 April
ASAB Easter Meeting 2020 - Swansea