Right now, I'm spending a month as a visiting scholar in the Friesen Lab at Queen's University, in the lovely snow-globe city of Kingston, Ontario.
- CLOCK (circadian locomotor output cycle kaput), a gene that controls diurnal and annual cycles in response to light conditions. The number of repeating segments on the end of the CLOCK gene has been associated with migratory activity in butterflies, and with timing and distance of songbird migrations.
- ADCYAP1(adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide 1) is also involved in circadian rhythms, and has been shown to have a relationship with migratory activity of raptors and captive songbirds.
- DRD4 (dopamine receptor D4), which is linked to aggression and risk-taking behavior in both humans and birds. These traits can be associated with how far an animal is willing to move away from the location where it is born, and a student in the Friesen Lab has found associations between DRD4 sequence and migration in bluebirds.