Genetic Dissection of Sexual Behaviour
We use Drosophila courtship behaviour to study how sex-specific neural circuitry and behaviours are established during development by the action of complex networks of genes. Our studies focus on two pivotal transcription factors of the sex-determination hierarchy, fruitless (fru) and doublesex (dsx), that act together to specify and configure both the anatomy and physiology of sex-specific neural circuitry. Ultimately we aim to understand how activity in functioning dimorphic neural circuits gives rise to a different sex-specific behavioural repertoire in the male and female fly. Our work has provided fundamental and original insight into how genetically determined variation in the structure and function of neural circuits gives rise to sex-specific differences in behaviour and into the molecular mechanisms that underpin this variation.
We are part of the Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour along with the groups of Gero Miesenböck and Scott Waddell.
In the News
New York Times
The Royal Society
German Public Radio (Deutschlandfunk)
ABC Radio National Australia
27 January 2021
A new paper from the Goodwin group based in DPAG's Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour has shown how males and females are programmed differently in terms of sex.
22 May 2020
The collaborating groups of Professor Stephen Goodwin and Professor Scott Waddell based in The Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour (CNCB) are shedding new light on what precisely constitutes a neuronal cell type.
6 June 2019
The talks given by Postdoctoral Research Scientists and Graduate Students highlighted the full range of research in DPAG, spanning molecular and cellular neuroscience all the way to systems neuroscience.
3 December 2018
Congratulations to winner Dr Lukas Krone and runners-up Eboni Bucknor and Sebastian Birtles.
16 November 2016
Scientists have identified the neural pathway in male fruit flies that allows them to perform their complex mating ritual, paving the way for deeper studies into sexual behavior and how it can be modified by social experience.
16 July 2015
This year’s exercise for the Recognition of Distinction awards Stephen Goodwin, Richard Wade-Martins and Clive Wilson for their outstanding academic contribution to DPAG and to the wider University.