University of Idaho - I Banner
A student works at a computer


U of I's web-based retention and advising tool provides an efficient way to guide and support students on their road to graduation. Login to VandalStar.

Ginger E. Carney

Ginger E. Carney

Professor & Dean, College of Science


Mines 321



Mailing Address

College of Science
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3025
Moscow, ID 83844-3025

Ph.D. University of Georgia, Genetics, 1998
B.S. University of Georgia, Genetics, Magna cum laude with honors, 1991

The Carney laboratory investigates the genetic underpinnings of social behaviors, including reproductive behaviors. Identifying the genes modulating social behaviors and determining their cellular functions is the cornerstone of Carney lab research. Our traditional study system is the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, although we are now pursuing similar questions in the African killifish Nothobranchius.

I am a proud graduate of the University of Georgia with B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Genetics. I moved to Oregon State University as an NIH-sponsored postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Barbara J. Taylor where I developed my interests in understanding how gene expression impacts behaviors. After a two-year stint as a faculty member at Georgia Institute of Technology, I moved to Texas A&M as an assistant professor, rising through the ranks to professor. I moved to the University of Idaho in 2017.

* indicates undergraduate co-author

  • Iftikhar, H., N.L. Johnson, M.L. Marlatt, G.E. Carney. The role of miRNAs in Drosophila melanogaster male courtship behavior (2019). Genetics, 211: 925-942. Access the recommendation on F1000Prime
  • Schultzhaus, J.N., C.J. Bennett, H. Iftikhar, J. Mallett*, J.C. Yew, G.E. Carney. High fat diet alters Drosophila melanogaster sexual behavior and traits: decreased attractiveness and changes in pheromone profiles (2018). Scientific Reports 8, 5387.
  • Schultzhaus, J.N. and G.E. Carney. Dietary protein content alters both male and female contributions to Drosophila melanogaster female post-mating response traits (2017). J. Insect Physiol., 99: 101-106.
  • Iftikhar, H, J.N. Schultzhaus, C.J. Bennett and G.E. Carney. The in vivo genetic toolkit for studying expression and functions of Drosophila melanogaster microRNAs (2017). RNA Biology, 14: 179-187.
  • Schultzhaus, J.N., S. Saleem, H. Iftikhar and G.E. Carney. The role of the Drosophila lateral horn in olfactory information processing and behavioral response (2017). J. Insect Physiol., 98: 29-37.
  • Schultzhaus, J.N., J.J. Nixon*, J.A. Duran*, and G.E. Carney. Diet alters Drosophila melanogaster mate preference and attractiveness (2017). Animal Behaviour, 123: 317-327.
  • Carney, G.E. A rapid genome-wide response to Drosophila courtship interactions (2007), BMC Genomics 2007, 8: 288. Access the recommendation on F1000Prime

Genetics of reproductive behaviors:

We use forward and reverse genetic as well as transcriptomic approaches to identify protein-coding and microRNA-encoding loci that modulate reproductive behaviors. Our aim is to decode the tissues in which the genes function, their interactions with gene signaling pathways, and their specific molecular activities related to behavior.

Physiology and behavior:

We use molecular and genetic approaches to evaluate how signals from adipose tissue modulate neural signaling and behavior. These strategies include determining how diet affects motivation and performance of reproductive behaviors and how hormones influence behavior.

  • Fellow, Southeastern Conference Academic Leadership Development Program, 2015-2016
  • NSF ADVANCE Administrative Fellow, College of Science, Texas A&M, 2013-2014
  • Outstanding Service and Leadership Award, Texas A&M Women’s Faculty Network, 2012
  • College of Science and Association of Former Students Distinguished Teaching Award, Texas A&M, 2009
  • Center for Teaching Excellence 25th Anniversary W Course Teaching Award, Texas A&M, 2008
  • Physicians Centre Hospital Texas A&M Faculty Guest Coach (student nominated), 2008, 2010
  • Genes and Behavior Gordon Conference Travel Award, 2004
  • NIH NRSA for post-doctoral training, 1999-2002
  • NIH NRSA for pre-doctoral training,1995-1998
  • University of Georgia University-wide Fellowship for pre-doctoral training, 1992-1995
  • Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society
  • Golden Key National Honor Society


Department of Biological Sciences

Physical Address:
Life Sciences South 252

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3051
Moscow, ID 83844-3051

Phone: 208-885-6280

Fax: 208-885-7905


Web: Department of Biological Sciences