Prof. Vincent Careau
Vincent Careau
Associate Professor

GNN 256 (office)
GNN 452 (lab)
(613) 562-5800 ext. 6349 (office)
(613) 562-5800 ext. 4051 (lab)

Department of Biology


I am broadly interested in the evolutionary interactions between physiology and behaviour, including topics traditionally contained in the field of physiological ecology and behavioural ecology. I seek to understand how the ecological and evolutionary interactions between behaviour and physiology can generate and maintain diversity in life-history strategies. I focus on the evolutionary and energetic consequences of variation in behavioural traits such as locomotor activity, exploration, aggressiveness, boldness, hoarding, and migration. I study if and how behaviour and energy expenditure are influenced by factors that are environmental (e.g., air temperature), ecological (e.g., food abundance, parasites), individual (e.g., age, reproduction, stress response), genetic (e.g., genetic correlations with other traits), or phylogenetic. My major line of research grows out of my PhD on the “energetics of personality” and the “pace-of-life syndrome”. Another facet of my research program focuses on the impacts of resource pulses and climatic variation on the behavioural ecology and evolutionary physiology of mammals. I study individual variation in combination with comparative studies at higher levels of biological variation (populations, species), as it yields complementary insights into how energetics and behaviour interact through evolution.

Selected publications

  • Berberi I & V Careau. 2019. Performance trade-offs in wild mice. Oecologia 191:11-23.
  • Videlier M, Rundle, HD & V Careau. 2019. Sex-specific among-individual covariation in locomotor activity and resting metabolic rate in Drosophila melanogaster. The American Naturalist 194: 194:E164-E176.
  • Careau V, Beauchamp PP, Bouchard S & J Morand-Ferron. 2019 Energy metabolism and personality in wild-caught fall field crickets. Physiology & Behavior 199: 173-181.
  • Newar SL & V Careau. 2018. The fast and the curious: locomotor performance and exploratory behaviour in Eastern chipmunks. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 72: 27.
  • Careau V & R Wilson. 2017. Performance trade-offs and ageing in the “world’s greatest athletes”. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 284: 20171048.
  • Careau V, Wolak ME, Carter PA & T Garland Jr. 2015. Evolution of the genetic variance-covariance matrix under continuous directional selection. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 282 20151119. PDF
  • Careau V & T Garland Jr. 2012. Performance, personality and energetics: correlation, causation and mechanism? Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 85: 543-571.
  • Careau V, Thomas D, Pelletier F, Turki L, Landry F, Garant D & D Réale. 2011. Genetic correlation between resting metabolic rate and exploratory behaviour in deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus). Journal of Evolutionary Biology 24: 2153-2163.
  • Careau V, Thomas D, Humphries, MM & D Réale. 2008. Energy metabolism and animal personality. Oikos 117: 641-653.

Research interests

  • Artificial selection
  • Basal metabolic rate
  • Behavioural ecology
  • Energy expenditure
  • Evolutionary physiology
  • Pace-of-life syndrome
  • Personality
  • Performance
  • Phylogeny
  • Physiological ecology
  • Quantitative genetics
  • Thermal reaction norm