In honor of Father's Day, ScienceLive takes a look this week at fatherhood throughout the animal kingdom. In some species, fathers show remarkable devotion to caring for their young. In others, deadbeat dads are the norm. What can other animals tell us about the evolution of paternal behavior? How does fatherhood change the brain? And what else are scientists learning about the biology of parenthood?
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Dr. Kelly Lambert is the Macon and Joan Brock Professor and Chair of Psychology at Randolph-Macon College. She teaches psychology and neuroscience courses, and maintains a behavioral neuroscience laboratory that focuses on the plasticity of the mammalian brain. Her research on the paternal brain is funded by the National Science Foundation.
Karen Bales is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Davis, and Unit Leader for Brain, Mind, and Behavior at the California National Primate Research Center. She has worked with common marmosets, golden lion tamarins, prairie voles, and titi monkeys, all of which are species that have "good dads". Bales previously studied monogamy and parental behavior in prairie voles and primate behavior with NSF funding.
Greg is the San Francisco, California, news correspondent for Science. He focuses on neuroscience and other areas of biological, behavioral, and social science.