Type: Graduate Students
Group: Mackay Lab
BS, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
MS, Purdue University
Website: Genetics Graduate Student Association
I am interested in understanding genetic variation of complex traits. Using the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel, I measured aggressive behaviors and identified a large network of epistatically interacting genes that affect aggression. When these genes were manipulated using RNAi knockdown or transposable element insertion, they were shown to significantly alter aggression levels. Many of these genes were not identified as significant in a GWA, highlighting the importance of understanding epistatic interaction in complex traits. I am also interested in understanding how odorant binding proteins affect behavior. I have characterized one particular odorant binding protein and observed that it is involved in mating behavior, aggression, and cuticular hydrocarbon formation. Finally, I am interested in understanding how royal jelly supplemented feeding alters development and other life history traits.