2024 Juanita Greer White Distinguished Lecture Series - Would a Labrador By Any Other Name Be As Sweet? Chasing the Tale of Why Dogs Are More Than Their Breed


Feb. 22, 2024, 6:30pm to 7:30pm

Office/Remote Location



Elinor Karlsson, associate professor at UMass Chan Medical School and science director of Darwin’s Ark Foundation, will present a public talk addressing the interplay of genes and environment in shaping personality, behavior and health of pet dogs.

Contrary to common belief, a dog's breed has a surprisingly small effect on their behavior. Traits we typically associate with specific breeds are found in all breeds to varying degrees. Through a genetic analysis encompassing the diversity of all pet dogs – both purebred and mixed-breed – we identify genes influencing behaviors like howling and retrieving. These behaviors are the result of thousands of years of natural selection long predating the formation of modern dog breeds. Their complexity explains why predicting an individual dog’s behavior is challenging. Dogs continue to fascinate and bewilder us as we learn more about their unique genetic legacy.

Admission Information

The event is free, but seating is limited. Request your tickets.

Contact Information

UNLV School of Life Sciences


Open to All