Gordon Berman is an assistant professor of biology at Emory University. He received his Ph.D. in physics from Cornell University and was an associate research scholar at the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University prior to joining Emory.
Berman uses theoretical, computational and data-driven approaches to gain quantitative insight into entire repertoires of animal behaviors, aiming to make connections to the social dynamics, neurobiology, genetics and evolutionary histories and that underlie them. In particular, he is interested in not just the precise physical and physiological mechanisms behind the performance of a single behavior or motion. Instead, he primarily focuses on the intricate interactions that underlie the temporal ordering, control and evolution of an organism’s movements, attempting to unearth general organizing principles that apply across species.
These studies include building new computational tools for measuring behavioral structures across many time scales, analyzing the biomechanical basis of rapid control in insects, revealing social context and temporal patterning in infant/caregiver interactions, and using data from optogenetic and targeted genetic introgression screens to probe the neurological control of behavioral commands and the evolution of behavior in fruit flies.