This week’s Animal Behavior Graduate Group seminar:
Parental Care: From Genome to Phenome
…and then off to save the world!
Rebecca M. Calisi Rodríguez
Assistant Professor of Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior
University of California, Davis
Friday, November 3rd, 12:10 in 1150 Hart Hall
Coffee and cookies will be available
Important changes in behavior occur when we become parents. For animals that exhibit parental care, raising offspring successfully involves transitioning from aggressive and sexual behaviors to more caring and nurturing ones. But how do the brain and body pull off this great feat? In the first part of this seminar, Calisi will discuss her work in characterizing a neurohormone, gonadotropin inhibitory hormone (GnIH), over the course of parental care in both a bird and rodent model, demonstrating how results of these studies could change the way we study the neural control of parental care behavior. Then, she will touch upon how this work has inspired current investigations in her lab of how the genomic activity of tissues vital to reproduction – the hypothalamus in the brain, the pituitary, and the gonads – change over the parental care stage using the avian model of the common pigeon. In the second part of her talk, Calisi will shift gears to discuss another exciting area of research in her lab. This research focuses on using pigeons as biomonitors of dangerous, human-made contaminants, with the goal of identifying problem urban and rural areas and communities in need of resources and assistance.