How Genetics Relate to Behavior: Uncovering the History of Dogs

  • Overview

  • Required

  • Schedule

  • Prerequisites

  • CEUs & Pricing

  • About Your Instructor

Course Begins: At Purchase

Duration: 4 Hours

Instructor: Dr. Elinor Karlsson & Dr. Kathryn Lord

Course type: Webinar

This event was presented live on June 6, 2021. These recordings are being made available for a limited time.


Do different breeds have different sensitive periods? What’s the biggest developmental difference between dogs and wolves? Did domestication happen? Once? More than once? Does a dog’s breed or mix, predict their personality or how they will behave?


Elinor Karlsson and Kathryn Lord review the latest in dog genetics and how they relate to behavior. Together they’ll discuss the current findings in developmental periods, the concept of domestication, and where dogs are leading us in the discovery of genetics and behavior.

To receive CEUs, students must review all course material and complete the CEU quiz.

This will be verified in the Learning Management System.

This is a recording of a previously held live event. The event includes a presentation and Q&A session with Dr. Kathryn Lord, a presentation and Q&A session with Dr. Elinor Karlsson, and a Panel Discussion with both presenters together.

Students will have access to the course material for 1 year from the date of their most recent IAABC Foundation purchase.

There are no prerequisites for this event.

Full Student:


Cost: $75


CEUs: --

Cost: --

Instructor: Dr. Elinor Karlsson & Dr. Kathryn Lord

Elinor Karlsson, PhD

Elinor Karlsson, PhD, (she/her) is associate professor in Bioinformatics and Integrative Biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and director of Vertebrate Genomics at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Her research combines new technology, citizen science, and the power of evolution to investigate how DNA works.

Dr. Karlsson has a special interest in dog genetics and her international Darwin’s Ark project ( invites all dog owners to enroll their dogs in an open data research project exploring the genetic basis of dog behavior, as well as diseases such as compulsive disorders, food allergies, and cancer. Dr. Karlsson’s research also includes Zoonomia (, an international effort to compare the genomes of over 240 mammals, from the African Yellow-spotted Rock Hyrax to the Woodland Dormouse, to identify critically important segments of DNA. In collaboration with Zoo New England, she is developing tools that uses genomics to tackle heritable diseases, like heart disease, common in some zoo populations (a project dubbed “Zoonomics”).

Elinor received her Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry/cell biology, her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rice University, and earned her PhD in bioinformatics from Boston University. She was a postdoctoral fellow with Pardis Sabeti at Harvard University before starting her research group at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 2014.


Kathryn Lord

Dr. Lord (she/her) has been studying the evolution and development of behavior in dogs and wolves for over 20 years. She is currently a Postdoctoral Associate in the Karlsson lab at The University of Massachusetts Medical School and The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.