Marla B. Sokolowski


  • B.Sc. (University of Toronto, 1977)
  • Ph.D. (University of Toronto, 1981)

Current Positions

Prior Positions




Marla B. Sokolowski (University Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto) is an internationally renowned behaviour geneticist whose ground-breaking research has permanently changed how we frame questions about individual differences in behaviour. Her comprehensive, multidisciplinary analyses of gene‐environment interactions have been instrumental in refuting longstanding ideas of genetic determinism and continue to shape fundamental concepts in the evolution of behaviour, genetic pleiotropy, and plasticity. Her foundational discoveries in the fruit fly have been extended to other diverse animals and humans. She has received Distinguished Visiting Professorships in the U.S.A. and Europe, where she regularly contributes to graduate education. Awards and honours recognizing her work include: Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) in 1998; a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair (2001-2015); Fellow of Massey College (2004); the Genetics Society of Canada’s Award of Excellence (2007); Senior Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (2013); the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2013, RSC); the Distinguished Investigator Award from the International Behaviour and Neurogenetics Society (2014); University Professor, University of Toronto (2014); and the RSC’s Flavelle Medal for research in the Biological Sciences (2020). She was the Weston Fellow and co-director of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research’s Child and Brain Development Program from 2008-2019. In addition, she directed the Life Sciences Division of the Academy of Sciences of the RSC from 2009-2012. Most recently, in 2021, a special issue of the Journal of Neurogenetics (vol. 35(3)) was published in her honour. In 2022, she was awarded the JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award from the School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto, in recognition of her outstanding supervision of 40 graduate students and 20 postdoctoral fellows, in addition to the University College Alumni of Influence Award and the distinction of Distinguished Fellow from the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR)