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In the heat of the moment

How Drosophila melanogaster's response to temperature is modulated by sensory systems, social environment, development, and cognition
PhD ceremony:Ms A. (Andrea) Soto Padilla
When:January 06, 2020
Supervisors:J.C. (Jean-Christophe) Billeter, Prof, prof. dr. D.H. (Hedderik) van Rijn, prof. dr. O.C.M. (Ody) Sibon
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Medical Sciences / UMCG
In the heat of the moment

The work presented here demonstrates that temperature is a fundamental component of many fundamental aspect of a fly's life. Starting with early development, the temperature at which a fly grows will determine how well it can cope with the climate challenges in its later adult life. Once in adulthood, an intricate system of peripheral and brain thermosensors coordinates how flies respond to dynamic temperature changes. This response is not just a predictable reaction; it is a complex process that can be affected by other internal and external features of the fly, such as its own sex and the sex of surrounding flies. Considering the relevance of Drosophila as a model organism, it is fundamental to continue exploring how temperature interacts with the other features of fly's existence, as it will help us predict how small ectotherms might be affected by climate change, while also answering basic neuroscience questions, such as how a brain integrates temperature information.