Kate Laskowski

Kate L

Position Title
Assistant Professor

  • Evolution and Ecology
2206 Storer Hall

Research Interests

Developmental evolution, behavioral diversity and plasticity

Our research investigates the causes and consequences of behavioral diversity and plasticity. We explore how evolution has shaped the developmental processes that generate individual behavioral variation. Our goal is to understand how individuals use and integrate cues from their genes, parents and experiences to build their phenotypes from both ultimate and proximate perspectives. 

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Animal Behavior Graduate Group
  • Population Biology Graduate Group

Specialties / Focus

  • Behavior Ecology and Sociobiology
  • Development
  • Evolutionary Ecology and Life History Strategies
  • Population Interactions


  • Add courses instructed

Honors and Awards

  • 2017 Outstanding Alumna in the College of Natural & Biological Sciences, UMBC
  • 2011 Eloise Gerry Research Award, Graduate Women in Science
  • 2008-9 GK-12 Teaching Fellow, National Science Foundation
  • 2007-12 Illinois Distinguished Fellow, University of Illinois

    Professional Societies

    • Animal Behavior Society
    • International Society for Behavioral Ecology
    • Society for the Study of Evolution


    • 2013 Ph.D., University of Illinois, School of Integrative Biology
    • 2006 B.S., University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), Department of Biological Sciences

    Selected publications


    Laskowski, K.L, C. Doran, D. Bierbach, J. Krause, M. Wolf. 2019. Naturally clonal vertebrates are an untapped resource in ecology and evolution research. Nature Ecology & Evolution 3:161-169.

    Doran, C., D. Bierbach, K.L. Laskowski. 2018. Familiarity increases aggressiveness among clonal fish. Animal Behaviour 148:153-159.

    Mennen, G.J.*, K.L. Laskowski. 2018. Defense is the best offense: invasive prey behaviour more important than native predator behaviour. Animal Behaviour 138:157.164.

     * mentored Master’s student

    Jolles, J.W., K.L. Laskowski, N.J. Boogert, A. Manica. 2018. Repeatable group differences in collective behavior of stickleback shoals across ecological contexts. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 285: 20172629

    Bierbach, D.†, K.L. Laskowski†, M. Wolf. 2017. Behavioural individuality in clonal fish arises despite near identical rearing conditions. Nature Communications 8: 15361.

     † these authors contributed equally

    Arlinghaus R., K.L. Laskowski, J. Alós, T. Klefoth, C.T. Monk, S. Nakayama, A. Schröder. 2017. Passive gear induced timidity syndrome in wild fish populations and its potential ecological and managerial implications. Fish & Fisheries 8: 360-373.

    Nakayama, S., K.L. Laskowski, T. Klefoth, R. Arlinghaus. 2016. Between- and within-individual variation in activity increases with water temperature in wild perch. Behavioral Ecology 6: 1676-1683

    Laskowski, K.L., M. Wolf, D. Bierbach. 2016. The making of winners (and losers): how early social interactions determine adult social structure in a clonal fish. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 283: 20160183.

    Laskowski, K.L, P.-O. Montiglio, J.N. Pruitt. 2016. Individual and group performance suffers from social niche disruption. American Naturalist 187: 776-785.

    Arlinghaus, R., J. Alós, T. Klefoth, K.L. Laskowski, C.T. Monk, S. Nakayama, A. Schröder. 2016. Consumptive tourism causes timidity, rather than boldness, syndromes Trends in Ecology & Evolution 31: 92-94.

     Laskowski, K.L, C.T. Monk, G. Polverino, J. Alós, S. Nakayama, G. Staaks, T. Mehner, R.A. Arlinghaus. 2016. Behaviour in a standardized assay, but not metabolic or growth rate, predicts behavioural variation in an adult aquatic top predator in the wild. Journal of Fish Biology 88: 1544-1563.

    Bierbach, D., K.L. Laskowski, A.-L. Brandt, W. Chen, J. Jourdan, B. Streit, M. Plath. 2016. Highly variable, unpredictable activity patterns in invasive, but not native amphipod species. Aquatic Ecology 50: 261-271.

    Laskowski, K.L., S. Pearish, M. Bensky, A.M. Bell. 2015. Predictors of individual variation in movement in a natural population of threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Advances in Ecological Research 52:65-90.

    Laskowski, K.L. & J.N. Pruitt. 2014. Evidence of social niche construction: persistent and repeated social interactions generate stronger personalities in a social spider. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 281: 20133166.

    Laskowski, K.L. & A.M. Bell. 2014. Strong personalities, not social niches, drive individual differences in social behaviours in sticklebacks. Animal Behaviour 90: 287-295.

    Laskowski, K.L. & A.M. Bell. 2013. Competition avoidance drives individual differences in response to a changing food resource in sticklebacks. Ecology Letters 16: 746-753.

    Hogan, K.* & K.L. Laskowski. 2013. Indirect information transfer: threespined sticklebacks use behavioral alarm cues from frightened conspecifics about an unseen predator. Ethology 119: 999-1005.

      mentored undergraduate honor’s student

    Bell, A.M., S.J. Hankison & K.L. Laskowski.  2009. The repeatability of behaviour: a meta-analysis. Animal Behaviour 77(4):771-783.