Robert Plomin is MRC Research Professor of Behavioral Genetics at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, where he is also deputy director of the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre at the Institute. The goal of the SGDP Centre is to bring together genetic and environmental research strategies to investigate behavioral development, a theme that characterizes Dr. Plomin’s research. Dr. Plomin is currently conducting a study of all twins born in England between 1994 and 1996, focusing on developmental delays in early childhood and their association with behavioral problems.
After receiving his doctorate in psychology from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1974, he worked with John DeFries and Gerald McClearn at the Institute for Behavioral Genetics at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Together, they initiated several large longitudinal twin and adoption studies of behavioral development throughout the life span. From 1986 until 1994, he worked with McClearn at Pennsylvania State University. They launched a study of elderly twins reared apart and twins reared together to study aging, and they developed models to identify genes in complex behavioral systems. Dr. Plomin’s current interest is in harnessing the power of molecular genetics to identify genes for psychological traits. He is past president of the Behavior Genetics Association. In 2004 Dr. Plomin was awarded the William James Fellow Award from the Association for Psychological Science. He has authored or co-authored several books and numerous articles. He recently published Behavioral Genetics in the Postgenomic Era (2003) and the fifth edition of Behavioral Genetics (2008).