Drosophila melanogaster

In my laboratory we are interested in behaviour, namely those observable processes initiated by an animal in response to extrinsic and/or intrinsic changes to the environment. 

Behaviour is a product of the brain therefore we use it as a convenient tool for the analysis of the nervous system.

Over the years my laboratory has been particularly involved in studying a complex behaviour, the circadian clock, in insects and in particular in the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster. 

We are interested in the genes that regulate the clock and we study them by characterising their function, by examining their evolution, and by analysing their expression.  We are also engaged in understanding how clock neurons (neurons expressing clock genes) are organised and how circadian information flow through their network. More recently we have started analysing other complex behaviours such as learning and memory, courtship and sleep.

Another area of research we are pursuing is the study of biological rhythmicity in marine invertebrates.  The marine environment is particularly complex as the interplay of circadian, lunar and tidal rhythms might influence the habitat of some species.  We have analysed the circadian and tidal behaviour of the ragworm Nereis viriens and we are currently studying the circadian behaviour of Northern and Antarctic krill.

Current Research Projects


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Research Links

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Contact Details

Department of Genetics
University of Leicester

Adrian Building
University Road
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 3374
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Head of Department
Professor Alison Goodall

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