The future of model systems (#498)
Well-chosen model systems have become cornerstones of biological research, and funding models reflect this; but are current model systems optimal for research going forwards? Contemporary model systems have been developed because they allow in-depth analysis of proximate causation of behaviour. Selection acts directly and unequivocally on behaviour, and as such behaviour is a fundamental parameter in evolutionary dynamics at all levels. A broader perspective can be gained by acknowledging diversity, both of animals and their behaviour, in the choice of new model systems, rather than being driven by genomic information in an era where genome sequencing has become routine. By adopting models chosen to optimise behavioural insights, we are now in a position to search for new model systems which address a wider set of biological issues.