Dr Marta Costa

University position

Senior Research Associate


Department of Zoology



Home page

http://www.zoo.cam.ac.uk/directo... (personal home page)

Research Themes

Systems and Computational Neuroscience

Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience


I am the Project Team Leader for the Drosophila Connectomics group, started in October 2016, aims to build the adult olfactory connectome of Drosophila. That is, to describe every neuron that is involved in olfactory behaviour, and its connections. We are part of a consortium of groups in Cambridge (Jefferis, Landgraf), Oxford (Waddell) and Janelia Research Campus (Rubin, Bock labs) that are doing this, using a whole brain EM volume generated at Janelia by Davi Bock's group.

The project focuses on the pathways and neuropils involved in innate and learned olfactory behaviour, from the primary olfactory centre - the antennal lobe - to the integration centres - lateral horn (LH) for innate and mushroom body (MB) for learned behaviours.

I have also been a part of the Virtual Fly Brain project - the neuroinformatic hub for Drosophila neuroscience information - since 2011, working on data curation and image analysis.

Research Focus







Clinical conditions

No direct clinical relevance


Computational techniques: electron microscopy reconstruction, image registration, image analysis



Cahir O'Kane

United Kingdom

Douglas Armstrong Web: http://homepages.inf.ed.ac.uk/jda/ind...

David Osumi-Sutherland Web: http://www.ebi.ac.uk/about/p...

Helen Parkinson Web: https://www.ebi.ac.uk/about/p...

Scott Waddell Web: http://www.cncb.ox.ac.uk/people/...


Davi Bock Web: https://www.janelia.org/lab/boc...

Gerry Rubin Web: https://www.janelia.org/lab/rub...

Associated News Items

    Key publications

    Costa, Marta and Manton, James D and Ostrovsky, Aaron D and Prohaska, Steffen and Jefferis, Gregory S X E (2016), “NBLAST: Rapid, Sensitive Comparison of Neuronal Structure and Construction of Neuron Family Databases” Neuron 91(2):293-311

    Costa, Marta and Ostrovsky, Aaron D and Manton, James D and Prohaska, Steffen and Jefferis, Gregory SXE (2014), “NBLAST: Rapid, sensitive comparison of neuronal structure and construction of neuron family databases” bioRxiv

    Manton, James D and Ostrovsky, Aaron D and Goetz, Lea and Costa, Marta and Rohlfing, Torsten and Jefferis, Gregory SXE (2014), “Combining genome-scale Drosophila 3D neuroanatomical data by bridging template brains” bioRxiv



    Marygold, Steven J and Antonazzo, Giulia and Attrill, Helen and Costa, Marta and Crosby, Madeline A and dos Santos, Gilberto and Goodman, Joshua L and Gramates, L Sian and Matthews, Beverley B and Rey, Alix J and others (2016), “Exploring FlyBase Data Using QuickSearch” Current Protocols in Bioinformatics 1--31


    Araya C, Tawk M, Girdler GC, Costa M, Carmona-Fontaine C, Clarke JD (2014), “Mesoderm is required for coordinated cell movements within zebrafish neural plate in vivo.” Neural Dev 9(1):9 Details


    Costa M, Reeve S, Grumbling G, Osumi-Sutherland D (2013), “The Drosophila anatomy ontology.” J Biomed Semantics 4(1):32 Details

    Costa, M, Calleja, M, Alonso, CR and Simpson, P (2013), “The bristle patterning genes hairy and extramacrochaetae regulate the development of structures required for flight in Diptera” Dev. Biol 388:205–215

    Marygold SJ, Leyland PC, Seal RL, Goodman JL, Thurmond J, Strelets VB, Wilson RJ, FlyBase consortium (2013), “FlyBase: improvements to the bibliography.” Nucleic Acids Res 41(Database issue):D751-7 Details


    McQuilton P, FlyBase Consortium (2012), “Opportunities for text mining in the FlyBase genetic literature curation workflow.” Database (Oxford) 2012:bas039 Details


    Correia AC, Costa M, Moraes F, Bom J, Nóvoa A, Mallo M (2007), “Bmp2 is required for migration but not for induction of neural crest cells in the mouse.” Dev Dyn 236(9):2493-501 Details