center for brain, behavior & evolution

Understanding the natural diversity of behavior, in the lab & in the wild.

Vole Meeting 2019

August 23 - 24

University of Texas at Austin

POB 2.302, Avaya Auditorium

201 E 24th St, Austin, TX 78712

Sponsored by NSF EDGE,

The University of Texas Center for Brain, Behavior and Evolution

with additional support by InScopix

We are delighted to announce that as part of the National Science Foundation's EDGE program, and in concert with the UT Center for Brain, Behavior & Evolution, we will be hosting a meeting for vole researchers at the University of Texas at Austin on August 23-24, 2018. The meeting will begin with breakfast at 8am on Friday, August 23, and end at 12pm on Saturday, August 24 — allowing interested participants to take an extra evening to explore Austin. The meeting will allow us to explore the latest in interdisciplinary work, with talks spanning from molecular to ecological scales.

As part of the NSF EDGE program, we will also be describing plans to improve genomic resources for work with voles, as well as seeking feedback about community interests and barriers to entry for genomic tools.

Download a pdf of the program here!

Friday, August 23        

8:30, Continental breakfast

9:00-11:30, Session 1. The EDGE project. Moderated by Zoe Donaldson.

Introduction to EDGE, break-out groups

Devanand Manoli, UCSF, “Molecular genetic approaches for understanding attachment: Germline manipulation in prairie voles.”


Zoe Donaldson, University of Colorado Boulder, “Manipulating gene expression in cells and circuits: post-mitotic CRISPRa/i in prairie voles.”

Steve Phelps, University of Texas Austin, “Developing tools for non-invasive whole-brain manipulation in murid rodents.”

11:30-13:00, Lunch, POB Connector Lobby (adjacent to the meeting room)


13:00-16:00, Session 2. Evolution, behavior, & the social brain. Moderated by Morgan Gustison.

Ben Dantzer, University of Michigan, “Tracking social interactions of prairie voles in nature: challenges and opportunities."

Joana Castro Pauperio, Universidade do Porto, Portugal. “Genomic insights into the phylogeny of Microtus.”

Annaliese Beery, Smith College, "Selectivity and reward in vole relationships."

Aubrey Kelly, Emory University, "Revisiting the social behavior neural network in rodents."


Panel discussion: Obstacles and opportunities. Zuoxin Wang, C. Sue Carter, Larry Young. Moderated by Steve Phelps.


16:00-17:00, Session 3. Trainee talks. Moderated by Meredith Loth

Carolyn Jones, Oregon Health & Science University “Sleep ontogeny and social development in prairie voles.”

Phoebe Edwards, University of Toronto, “The epigenetics of population cycles in meadow voles.”

W. Tang Watanasriyakul, Northern Illinois University, “Cardiac and endocrine evidence for vicarious stress and social buffering in male prairie vole siblings.”

Richard Ortiz, University of Texas at El Paso, “Population differences in the neural microarchitecture of the prairie vole brain within regions relevant to emotionality and prosocial behavior.”

17:00-19:00, Poster session


Saturday, August 24

8:30, Continental breakfast

9:00-11:00, Session 4. Molecular, neural & endocrine mechanisms of attachment. Moderated by Kristen Berendzen

Mohamed Kabbaj, Florida State University, “Epigenetics of social bonding in prairie voles.”     

Robert Liu, Emory University, “A computational neuroethological approach to pair bonding circuitry.”


C. Sue Carter, Indiana University, “Oxytocin pathways to social monogamy and love.”

11:00-12:00, Session 5. Where next? Moderated by Dev Manoli.

Break-out groups

Review of group responses and subsequent discussion

12:00-???, Informal post-meeting gathering. Details to be announced.