Prof. dr. Jean-Christophe Billeter, Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences – 9 October 2018

Modulation of individual behaviour by social experience in Drosophila melanogaster


Social life, including group formation and social interactions between members of the same species, is a phenomenon observed in most if not all species. Those interactions have generalised fitness benefits in terms of facilitated reproduction, foraging and protection from predators, but also costs linked with competition for mates and resources, resource over exploitation and spread of diseases. Individuals respond and influence their social environment through different behavioural and physiological traits, such as the use of aggregation signals or dispersal behaviour. We however know little about the mechanisms that underlie these traits, for instance the sensory systems and neuronal circuits that allow individual to asses their social context and adapt to it. In this seminar, I will attempt to convince the audience that the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, a species with unrivalled genetics tool to asses the molecular and cellular basis of behaviour, does have a social life and that the mechanisms mediating this social life can be dissected down to the molecular and cellular level in this species.

Nature of Life seminars

Date       :   9 October 2018

Time       :   15.45 hours

Location:   Room HG-14A33, Main building VU Amsterdam