Projects per year
I study the evolution of brains and behaviour. I am particularly interested in how brains adapt to different environments, how changes in brain structure produce behavioural differences, and how selection navigates developmental and functional constraints that may limit or channel the adaptive response.
I take a comparative approach to tackling these questions, comparing molecular and phenotypic data across species. Much of my work in mammals has focused on identifying genes associated with the evolution of brain size, and investigating the causes and consequences of co-evolution between different regions of the brain, and between brain and body size. I also have side interests in dwarfism, animal play, and human evolution.
Currently, Neotropical butterflies are the major focus of my research. I study two tribes of mimetic butterflies, the Ithomiini and Heliconiini. The diversification of these butterflies has often involved ecological adaptation to different habitat types and ecological niches. As a result they show a range of derived behavioural traits including sensory adaptations and novel foraging behaviours. This pattern of ecological adaptation make these butterflies an ideal case study in ecological neurobiology.
An agent-based model clarifies the importance of functional and developmental integration in shaping brain evolutionAvin, S., Currie, A. & Montgomery, S. H., 10 May 2021, In: BMC Biology. 19, 18 p., 97.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article (Academic Journal) › peer-reviewOpen Access
Montgomery, S. H., Rossi, M., McMillan, O. & Merrill, R., 9 Jan 2021, In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 118, 6, e2015102118.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Review article (Academic Journal) › peer-review
Bias and Misrepresentation of Science Undermines Productive Discourse on Animal Welfare Policy: A Case StudyJaakkola, K., Bruck, J., Connor, R., Montgomery, S. H. & King, S. L., 29 Jun 2020, In: Animals. 10, 7, 17 p., 1118.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Review article (Academic Journal) › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile19 Downloads (Pure)
Data for: Neural divergence and hybrid disruption between ecologically isolated Heliconius butterflies
Montgomery, S. H. (Contributor), Rossi, M. (Creator), McMillan, W. O. (Contributor) & Merrill, R. (Contributor), Dryad, 5 May 2021