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Carolina Rezaval

Postdoctoral Research Scientist



I was born in Patagonia, Argentina. I received a Masters and Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Buenos Aires. I am currently a BBSRC Researcher Co-Investigator in the laboratory of Prof. Stephen Goodwin at the University of Oxford. My research focuses on understanding the genetic and neural basis underlying innate sexual behaviours. 

research summary

Sexual reproduction in most species involves innate behaviours that are notably different in males and females. Such behaviours are essential for reproductive success and are believed to arise from sex-differences in the nervous system. Courtship in Drosophila fruit flies is one of the most remarkable examples of sexually dimorphic behaviour in the animal kingdom. Upon identifying a suitable partner, male fruit flies initiate an elaborate courtship ritual that culminates with copulation. Female fruit flies do not actively court the male, yet it is her response to the male’s advances that determines whether a mating will actually occur.

How does the brain differ between the sexes, and how might these differences explain the distinct behaviours of males and females that are critical for reproductive success? I am interested in identifying neurons that control courtship behaviours, understanding how they are connected with one another, and how they work together to specify a behaviour that is unique to one gender. These studies offer great potential for understanding fundamental neuronal mechanisms that are present across species, and represent a key step toward understanding the complex inner workings of our own brains.

Recent publications

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