The Bell Lab

Department of Animal Biology

School of Integrative Biology

The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign


Research in the Bell lab is focused on understanding why individual animals behave differently from each other. In other words, why do individuals of the same species have different personalities? Although we tend to think that 'personality' is confined to humans and perhaps nonhuman primates, there is growing evidence for something akin to personality in nonhuman animals as well. Even an individual fish, for example, behaves differently from other fish, through time and across situations. We study the proximate mechanisms underlying personality and the ultimate (evolutionary) consequences of personality using threespined stickleback fish (mostly) as a model system.