Welcome to the Neuroendocrinology and Neuroethology Laboratory


Teleost Fish and Pulmonate Snails

Model organisms in the lab will be teleost fish -zebrafish (Danio rerio) and medaka (Oryzias latipes) and the pulmonate snails - Helisoma trivolvis, Lymnaea stagnalis and Biomphalaria glabrata.

We will examine the development and physiology of the nervous systems of these animals using a variety of tools such as immunohistochemistry, confocal microscopy, and electrophysiology.

Transgenic Zebrafish and Medaka

One of the goals of the lab is to understand the development and modulation of Gonadotropin releasing hormone neurons (GnRH) that are the primary controllers of reproduction and allied behaviors in all animals.
We will use transgenic zebrafish and medaka with GnRH neurons tagged with GFP as the model system. GFP tagging allows us to easily visualize the GnRH neurons. We can observe them as they develop in the early embryonic fish and analyze how the functional connections change over development. GnRH neurons can also be accessed for electrophysiological analysis both in the living embryo and in the excised intact adult brains. Zebrafish and medaka are also powerful models to study social behavior, response to photoperiodic and chemosensory cues and reactions to environmental estrogens.

This project is funded by the NSF Early CAREER Award to the PI, Siddharth Ramakrishnan and will run for the duration from 2013-2018. To learn more about the details of this project click here

Snail Central Pattern Generators

Central Pattern Generators (CPGs) are neurons and neural circuits that underlie rhythmic motor behaviors such as respiration, locomotion, feeding etc. Using the simple but elegant system of snails, we will study the functioning and modulation of a multifunctional pattern generating circuit that controls oral movements in snails. These snail oral CPGs are well characterized elegant systems that will allow us to understand sensori-motor integration and modulation of neural function. Using closely related species, we will also be able to look into comparative neural development and physiology.