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Bárður Eyjólfsson Ellendersen: Organization of behavioural output in D. melanogaster males during mating

PhD defence, Tuesday 22 January 2019. Bárður Eyjólfsson Ellendersen.

2019.01.22 | Lisbeth Heilesen

Bárður Eyjólfsson Ellendersen

During his studies, Bárður Eyjólfsson Ellendersen researched how the behavioural state of an animal affects its behavioural output. Animals base their behavioural choices on both external and internal factors and situational contexts may influence their response to sensory input. Bárður Eyjólfsson Ellendersen studied how the neuronal circuits, which produce courtship song in D. melanogaster males, are affected during copulation. He used optogenetics to artificially activate specific song-producing neurons and measured their ability to elicit song during copulation. He found that some neurons lost their ability to produce song during copulation while others were unaffected.

Another focus point of his research was geographical variations in D. melanogaster courtship song and pheromones, and their effect on mating success. He discovered a D. melanogaster strain with a unique song phenotype that had significant effect on inter-strain mating success.

The new research findings contribute to the fundamental understanding of neuronal circuits, and how they can organize conflicting behaviours in a hierarchical manner.

The PhD degree was completed at the Danish Research Institute of Translational Neuroscience (DANDRITE), Science and Technology, Aarhus University.

This résumé was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Tuesday 22 January 2019 at 16:00

Place: Building 1170, room 347, Auditorium 6, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, Ole Worms Allé 3, 8000 Aarhus C
Title of PhD thesis: Genetic and neuronal control of behavioural organization and action selection in Drosophila
Contact information: Bárður Eyjólfsson Ellendersen, e-mail: bardur.e@mbg.au.dk, tel.: +45 52645430
Members of the assessment committee:
Principal Investigator Maria Luísa Vasconcelos, Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme, Champalimaud Foundation, Portugal
Professor Björn Brembs, Faculty for Biology and Pre-clinical Medicine, University of Regensburg, Germany
Associate Professor Ernst-Martin Füchtbauer, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, Denmark (chair)
Main supervisor:
Associate Professor Anne von Philipsborn, DANDRITE, Aarhus University
Co-supervisor:
Associate Professor Duda Kvitsiani, DANDRITE, Aarhus University
Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defence is public.
The PhD thesis is available for reading at the Graduate School of Science and Technology/GSST, Ny Munkegade 120, building 1520 and 1521, 8000 Aarhus C.

PhD defense