Mark Fitzpatrick

faculty_img Academic Title: Assistant Professor

Campus: UTSC

CSB Appointment: Cross Appointment

Primary Undergraduate Department:
Biological Sciences, UTSC

Graduate Programs:
Cell & Systems Biology
Neuroscience
Psychology

Titles and Honors:


Academic or Administrative Appointments:


Education:
Ph.D. University of Toronto 2007
M.Sc. Brock University 2000
B.Sc. Brock University 1999

 

Mailing Address
Department of Cell & Systems Biology
University of Toronto
1265 Military Trail
Scarborough, ON M1C 1A4
Canada
 

 

Contact Information
Office phone: 416-208-2703 
Office: SW 558A 
Lab: SW 432 
Lab phone:  
Email: mark.fitzpatrick@utoronto.ca 
URL: http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~mfitzpat

 

Research Areas
Animal Biology
Evolutionary Biology
Functional Genomics
Genetics
Neurobiology
Psychology & Behavior

 

Research

I study the evolutionary genetics of animal behaviour. I focus primarily on the rover/sitter foraging polymorphism found in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster and discovered by Marla Sokolowski in the early 1980s. Rovers eat less but move more than sitters during foraging and they are more likely to explore new food patches than sitters. These behavioural differences arise mainly from allelic variation in foraging (for), which encodes a cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG). Rovers (forR) have higher RNA transcript levels and PKG activity levels than sitters (fors). This polymorphism has now become a classic model system in behaviour genetics. My research explores: i) the evolutionary link between foraging behaviour and cGMP-dependent protein kinase, ii) identifying additional genes that influence foraging behaviour, and iii) the maintenance of the rover/sitter polymorphism by frequency-dependent selection.

 

Publications

2014

Top
Alleles underlying larval foraging behaviour influence adult dispersal in nature.Edelsparre AH, Vesterberg A, Lim JH, Anwari M, Fitzpatrick MJ.Ecol. Lett. 2014 Mar;17(3):333-9
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2008

Top
Behavioural genetics: worms seek that old beetle smell.Sokolowski MB, Fitzpatrick MJ.Curr. Biol. 2008 Jun;18(11):R480-2
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2007

Top
Maintaining a behaviour polymorphism by frequency-dependent selection on a single gene.Fitzpatrick MJ, Feder E, Rowe L, Sokolowski MB.Nature 2007 May;447(7141):210-2
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2005

Top
Candidate genes for behavioural ecology.Fitzpatrick MJ, Ben-Shahar Y, Smid HM, Vet LE, Robinson GE, Sokolowski MB.Trends Ecol. Evol. (Amst.) 2005 Feb;20(2):96-104
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2004

Top
In Search of Food: Exploring the Evolutionary Link Between cGMP-Dependent Protein Kinase (PKG) and Behaviour.Fitzpatrick MJ, Sokolowski MB.Integr. Comp. Biol. 2004 Feb;44(1):28-36
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Pleiotropy and the genomic location of sexually selected genes.Fitzpatrick MJ.Am. Nat. 2004 Jun;163(6):800-8
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