Georg F. Striedter

picture of Georg F. Striedter

Professor, Neurobiology and Behavior
School of Biological Sciences

Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, 1990, Neuroscience
B.S., Cornell University, 1984, Neurobiology & Behavior

Phone: (949) 824-5228
Fax: (949) 824-2447

University of California, Irvine
305 Qureshey Research Labs / CNLM
Mail Code: 3800
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Comparative Neurobiology and Animal Behavior
Academic Distinctions
2010-2019 Editor-in-Chief: Brain, Behavior, and Evolution
2014-2016 Equity Advisor, School of Biological Sciences
1990-94 California Institute of Technology (with Dr. M. Konishi)
Research Abstract
I am broadly interested in the evolution of vertebrate brains and behavior. Within that field, I am interested in general principles that are broadly conserved (such as brain scaling laws and ancient brain divisions), but I am also interested in understanding what makes specific taxonomic groups (e.g., humans, primates, birds) behaviorally and neurobiologically unique. I have approached this problem experimentally through studies on embryonic brains of diverse avian species but recently found myself more intrigued by the challenge of synthesizing experimental data that are already published. In practice, this meant writing books, including an undergraduate textbook called “Neurobiology: A Functional Approach", a co-authored book on key events in the evolution of vertebrate nervous systems, and a forthcoming book on "Model Systems in Biology."
Awards and Honors
2020 Mercator Fellowship, German Science Foundation (DFG)
2019 Top 2% of scientists by citation analysis (1996-2019; Ioannidis et al., 2019, PLoS Biology)
2018 Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching, UCI Academic Senate
2017 Golden Apple Teaching Award, School of Biological Sciences
2009 Guggenheim Fellowship
2002-03 Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin
1998 C.J. Herrick Award from the American Association of Anatomists
1995-97 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship
Short Biography
I grew up with a fascination for animal behavior and studied it as an undergraduate at Cornell University. There I also developed strong interests in evolutionary biology and neuroscience. Applying these interests to research on both fishes and birds during my graduate and postdoctoral studies, I came to UCI ready to study how and why parakeets imitate sounds. Among other things, we discovered that male parakeets generally imitate the vocalizations of females that they are trying to court, which explains why they tend to imitate humans on whom they have become sexually imprinted. After receiving tenure, I wrote a book entitled "Principles of Brain Evolution", which is how I discovered a love for writing ambitious, synthetic books. Pursuing this insight, I wrote an undergraduate neurobiology text (entitled "Neurobiology: A Functional Approach"). In parallel, I built a novel research program aimed at understanding how evolution modified brain development to generate species differences in brains. After that, I embarked on a third book, entitled "Brains Through Time: A Natural History of Vertebrates", which I co-authored with my dissertation advisor. For the last two years, I've been working on a book on the use of animal and cellular models in biomedical research. In essence, I have been applying my comparative perspective to the problem of translational research, analyzing both its successes and failures. A draft of this book is currently under review.
Striedter, G. F. (under contract with MIT Press) Model Systems in Biology: History, Philosophy, and Practical Concerns
Striedter G.F. and Northcutt R.G. (2020) Brains Through Time: A Natural History of Vertebrates. Oxford University Press.
Striedter GF (2019) Variation across species and levels: implications for model species research. Brain Behavior and Evolution. 93:1-13
Striedter, GF (2016) Neurobiology: A Functional Approach. Oxford University Press.
Striedter GF (2015) Evolution of the hippocampus in reptiles and birds. J Comp Neurol. 524:496-517.
Striedter GF, Srinivasan S, Monuki ES (2014) Cortical folding: when, where, how and why? Annual Review of Neuroscience, 38:291-307.
Striedter, G.F., and Charvet, C.J. (2009) Telencephalic enlargement by the convergent evolution of expanded subventricular zones. Biology Letters, 5: 134-137.
Striedter, G.F. (2005) Principles of brain evolution. Sunderland, MA, Sinauer Associates.
Hile, A.G., T.K. Plummer, and G.F. Striedter (2000) Male vocal imitation produces call convergence during pairbonding in budgerigars. Animal Behaviour, 59:1209-1218.
Professional Society
J. B. Johnston Club of Comparative Neurobiologists
Graduate Programs
Neurobiology and Behavior

Research Center
Center for Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
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