Liverpool Skylilne

Natural Sciences and Psychology

Dr Will Swaney

Dr Will Swaney

Telephone: 0151 231 2160

Biography

Will Swaney is a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Epigenetics

I study animal social behaviour and its underlying neurobiology. I am particularly interested in how different environments and experiences affect social behaviour and how shifts in phenotype arise from changes in brain networks and neurochemistry. Social behaviour may change within the lifetime of an animal as a result of specific experiences, or related populations may differ as a result of natural selection due to differences in food availability, predation or parasites etc. However emerging evidence indicates that certain experiences and conditions can result in changes in behaviour that persist across generations through non-genetic mechanisms, and this field of behavioural epigenetics is one of my focus areas.

My interests in epigenetics developed through doctoral work with Barry Keverne (University of Cambridge) in which I studied the epigenetic phenomenon of genomic imprinting and the influence of imprinted genes on social behaviour. After finishing my PhD, I worked with Frances Champagne (Columbia University) on the influence of developmental and adult experience on social behaviour and the hormonal and neural systems that regulate it. I then went on to explore related questions in work with Simon Reader (Utrecht University and McGill University), examining the behavioural neuroscience of social behaviour and social learning in fish

At LJMU I am continuing my work with fish, using a multidisciplinary approach including behaviour, genetics, neuroscience and pharmacology to explore variation in social behaviour. In this way I hope to investigate the importance of epigenetic mechanisms in the transmission of behaviour across generations.

Degrees

2006, University of Cambridge, UK, PhD - Zoology
1999, University of Cambridge, UK, BA (Hons) - Zoology

Publications

Highlighted publications

Cabrera-Alvarez MJ, Swaney WT, Reader SM. 2017. Forebrain activation during social exposure in wild-type guppies PHYSIOLOGY & BEHAVIOR, 182 :107-113 >DOI >Link

Dargent F, Reddon AR, Swaney WT, Fussmann GF, Reader SM, Scott ME, Forbes MR. 2015. Demasculinization of male guppies increases resistance to a common and harmful ectoparasite PARASITOLOGY, 142 :1647-1655 >DOI >Link

Lindeyer CM, Langen EMA, Swaney WT, Reader SM. 2015. Nonapeptide influences on social behaviour: effects of vasotocin and isotocin on shoaling and interaction in zebrafish BEHAVIOUR, 152 :897-915 >DOI >Link

Swaney WT, Cabrera-Álvarez MJ, Reader SM. 2015. Behavioural responses of feral and domestic guppies (Poecilia reticulata) to predators and their cues Behavioural Processes, 118 :42-46 >DOI

Swaney WT. 2011. Genomic imprinting and mammalian reproduction Hormones and Behavior, 59 :369-374 >DOI

Swaney WT, Keverne EB. 2009. The evolution of pheromonal communication Behavioural Brain Research, 200 :239-247 >DOI

Swaney WT, Curley JP, Champagne FA, Keverne EB. 2007. Genomic imprinting mediates sexual experience-dependent olfactory learning in male mice Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104 :6084-6089 >DOI

Journal Articles

Cabrera-Alvarez MJ, Swaney WT, Reader SM. 2017. Forebrain activation during social exposure in wild-type guppies PHYSIOLOGY & BEHAVIOR, 182 :107-113 >DOI >Link

Walker SC, Trotter PD, Swaney WT, Marshall A, Mcglone FP. 2017. C-tactile afferents: Cutaneous mediators of oxytocin release during affiliative tactile interactions? NEUROPEPTIDES, 64 :27-38 >DOI >Link

Dargent F, Reddon AR, Swaney WT, Fussmann GF, Reader SM, Scott ME, Forbes MR. 2015. Demasculinization of male guppies increases resistance to a common and harmful ectoparasite PARASITOLOGY, 142 :1647-1655 >DOI >Link

Lindeyer CM, Langen EMA, Swaney WT, Reader SM. 2015. Nonapeptide influences on social behaviour: effects of vasotocin and isotocin on shoaling and interaction in zebrafish BEHAVIOUR, 152 :897-915 >DOI >Link

Swaney WT, Cabrera-Álvarez MJ, Reader SM. 2015. Behavioural responses of feral and domestic guppies (Poecilia reticulata) to predators and their cues Behavioural Processes, 118 :42-46 >DOI

Swaney WT, Dubose BN, Curley JP, Champagne FA. 2012. Sexual experience affects reproductive behavior and preoptic androgen receptors in male mice Hormones and Behavior, 61 :472-478 >DOI

Swaney WT. 2011. Genomic imprinting and mammalian reproduction Hormones and Behavior, 59 :369-374 >DOI

Swaney WT, Keverne EB. 2009. The evolution of pheromonal communication Behavioural Brain Research, 200 :239-247 >DOI

Curley JP, Jordan ER, Swaney WT, Izraelit A, Kammel S, Champagne FA. 2009. The meaning of weaning: Influence of the weaning period on behavioral development in mice Developmental Neuroscience, 31 :318-331 >DOI

Champagne FA, Curley JP, Swaney WT, Hasen NS, Keverne EB. 2009. Paternal Influence on Female Behavior: The Role of Peg3 in Exploration, Olfaction, and Neuroendocrine Regulation of Maternal Behavior of Female Mice Behavioral Neuroscience, 123 :469-480 >DOI

Swaney WT, Curley JP, Champagne FA, Keverne EB. 2008. The Paternally Expressed Gene Peg3 Regulates Sexual Experience-Dependent Preferences for Estrous Odors Behavioral Neuroscience, 122 :963-973 >DOI

Swaney WT, Curley JP, Champagne FA, Keverne EB. 2007. Genomic imprinting mediates sexual experience-dependent olfactory learning in male mice Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104 :6084-6089 >DOI

Swaney W, Kendal J, Capon H, Brown C, Laland KN. 2001. Familiarity facilitates social learning of foraging behaviour in the guppy Animal Behaviour, 62 :591-598 >DOI

Chapters

Swaney WT, Keverne EB. 2011. Genomic imprinting and sexual experience-dependent learning in the mouse Clelland JD. Genomics, Proteomics, and the Nervous System :195-225 Springer. New York 978-1-4419-7197-5 >DOI >Link

Engagement & Impact

Membership of professional bodies:

member of ASAB, Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour, http://www.asab.org/