Benjamin de Bivort

Evolution of Behavior Group


Rowland Junior Fellow
Rowland Institute at Harvard
Harvard University
100 Edwin H. Land Blvd.
Cambridge, MA 02142
Tel: 617-497-4656
Fax: 617-497-4627

Website:Evolution of Behavior Group

The animal kingdom contains staggering morphological diversity, but even greater variety is manifest in animal behavior. All animals display species-specific ecological behaviors and behavior alone can distinguish species that are otherwise morphologically identical. Moreover, evolution and behavior exert reciprocal influences on each other - while evolution can diversify behavior, behavior can constrain the evolution of species. The goal of our lab is to understand the neurobiological mechanisms of ecologically and evolutionarily relevant behaviors using techniques drawn from circuit-driven neuroscience, comparative genomics, and ethology, as they are manifested in fruit flies from the genus Drosophila.

Selected Publications

  • Amino Acid Metabolic Origin as an Evolutionary Influence on Protein Sequence in Yeast. de Bivort B & Perlstein E, Kunes S, Schreiber S. Journal of Molecular Evolution. 68(5), 490-497, 2009

  • Attractors and democratic dynamics. Bar-Yam Y, Harmon D, de Bivort B Science. 323, 1016-1017, 2009.

  • Evolutionarily conserved optimization of amino acid biosynthesis. de Bivort B and Perlstein E, Kunes S, Schreiber S. Journal of Molecular Evolution. 65(2), 186-196, 2007.