Stickleback Programs

Three-spined stickleback are a popular fish model used in evolutionary, ecological, and behavioral research.  They are a coldwater species found across the Northern Hemisphere in both fresh and saltwater.  What makes them a unique model is their ability to quickly alter gene expression in response to environmental pressures to modify physiological structures and processes, like armored scales and spines.  These adaptions have lead some to refer to the three-spined sticklebacks as “Darwin’s Finches of the Sea”.