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Species studied and projects

Threespine stickleback

  • Our model system is the threespine stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus, a small fish studied in behavioural biology, which lives in a wide-array of ecological conditions, can be kept easily in the lab and whose genome is sequenced. We study natural stickleback populations that can be sampled close to Quebec City, in the magnificent St-Lawrence River and surrounding lakes. We also take advantage of well-studied marine and freshwater populations on the West Coast of Canada.


  • Characterizing the genomic and proteomic basis of behaviour modification in the threespine stickleback by it's parasite, the flatworm Schistocephalus solidus
    • Collaboration with Christian Landry, Université Laval, Iain Barber, University of Leicester, Martin Kalbe, Max-Planck Institute, and Leonard Foster, University of British Columbia
  • Variation in behaviour and the molecular stress response in juvenile Quebec sticklebacks: linking the stress and social molecular networks

Ecotoxicology superstars

Our interest in the underpinning of phenotype variation lead us to study perturbations of endocrinological and molecular networks by anthropogenic perturbations in aquatic organsims.


  • Effects on life-history traits in ecotoxicology model systems (cladocera and fish) of personal care and pharmaceutical products before and after a water treatment
    • Collaboration with Northern watertek and UQTR

African cichlids

The incredible diversity observed in the thousands of recently-evolved species of African cichlids includes a wide-array of social behaviours. We collaborate with colleagues and take advantage of repeated-evolution of sociality, solid ecological knowledge and of recently sequenced genomes for several cichlids.


  • The genomics of the effect of early-rearing environment on social competence reprogramming in a cooperatively breeding species
    • Collaboration with Barbara Taborsky, University of Bern



  • Learning capacity and personality variation between males using alternative mating tactics in the sailfin molly
    • Collaboration with Frédérique Dubois, Université de Montréal
  • Neuroendocrine correlates of the evolution of sociality in Trinidad guppys (Poecilia reticulata)
    • Collaboration with Simon Reader, McGill University

Research opportunities

If you are interested in our research, please read our papers, figure out what the ongoing research is in the lab and define a question that interest you. You can then contact Nadia Aubin-Horth directly by email, including your CV, university records and names of two references with a cover letter explaining your interests (contact info here). </font>