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Research groups

Vanda Reiss

DPhil Student

I am DPhil student in the Vyazovskiy group. My DPhil project is funded by the AMED Moonshot Research and Development program for research into next-generation medical interventions. I am investigating the effects of naturalistic environments on torpor and sleep behaviour in Djungarian hamsters. Djungarian hamsters are metabolically flexible mammals - their natural ability to shift physiological states points us to a continuum ranging from wake to torpor that has likely been silently preserved in other mammals further up the phylogenetic tree. Initially, I hope to develop our understanding of the ecological relevance of sleep and torpor and bring about a more ecologically informed methodology for researching these states in the laboratory. I hope that this will open up conversations about how physiological states are influenced by the environment, and how we can use this to bring about a propensity for torpor in humans.

I am jointly supervised by Professor Vladyslav Vyazovskiy in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, Associate Professor Stuart Peirson in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, and Dr Sarah Knowles in the Department of Zoology.

Prior to starting at the University of Oxford, I completed an MSc in Neuroscience at University College London. Under the supervision of Professor Jason Rihel, I used in vivo imaging of larval zebrafish to assess light/dark related changes in inhibitory synapses. This work was funded by the Google DeepMind Neuroscience scholarship programme.