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PhD Transfer Exam – Jacob Jezovit (Levine lab)

January 25, 2016 @ 10:10 am - 11:10 am

PhD Transfer Examination

Monday January 25th, 10:10 am – HSC 332, University of Toronto at Mississauga

Jacob Jezovit (Levine lab)

Investigation and Phylogenetic Characterization of Social Interaction Networks across Multiple Drosophila Species


Formerly known as a solitary organism, Drosophila melanogaster displays a variety of social behaviours, such as aggregation, courtship, aggression and memory/learning. In 2012, a Social Interaction Network (SIN) assay was developed that captured repeatable properties of group organization in flies. A network property, called betweenness centrality, was shown to differ between two strains of D. melanogaster, Canton-S and Oregon-R. An earlier study on social networks in humans also reported betweenness centrality is heritable, emphasizing that these social network models may capture aspects of group organization phenotypes. My project aims to pursue the evolutionary relevance of group organization and social interactions by examining the SINs formed by a collection of diverse Drosophila species. Drosophilids are diverse in their morphology, geographic distribution and ecology and thirty species have had their genomes sequenced. These qualities make Drosophilids a great system to model the evolution of social networks. To date I have characterized SINs in seven species and I found differences in their social networks. I aim to expand this analysis to at least thirteen species and implement comparative phylogenetic methods to model the evolution of SINs in Drosophila. These findings may assist in uncovering genetic correlations to SIN behaviour. More broadly, this work could provide us with a better understanding of genetic, behavioural and evolutionary mechanisms for group organization in social organisms, including humans.



January 25, 2016
10:10 am - 11:10 am
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UTM – HSC 332
3359 Mississauga Rd,
Mississauga, ON L5L 1C6 Canada