Every individual differs in how they or their body responds to an experience. Our lab is interested in understanding where these differences originate from at the biological level. Every individual is born with a fixed set of genes but the activity of those genes (e.g., their expression) can change in response to experience (e.g., stress, past and current environment). To understand what makes individuals behave differently, we look at genes with specific functions in development and behaviour and how their expression is regulated. Our work tries to explain the molecular pathways through which the environment interacts with genes, the long-term effects of these interactions, and differences between individuals.
To answer these questions, we use the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) as a model organism to study processes of gene regulation that influence development, physiology, and behaviour. A particular focus of our lab lies in behavioural epigenetics and epitrancriptomics, or the deposition of chemical marks on DNA , histones, and RNA. Our work combines classical genetics, molecular biology, transcriptomics, behavioural assays, and bioinformatics. Find more information on our current projects here.