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Professor Steven Reppert to deliver talk in Cambridge, September 11th 2012, 16:00-17:00

Cambridge Neuroscience are pleased to welcome Professor Steven M. Reppert, MD who will deliver a talk entitled: 'Monarch butterfly migration: from behavior to genes'. Steven is a highly successful neuroscientist and one the circadian clock "stars". 

Steven is Chair and Professor of the Department of Neurobiology at UMASS Medical School, Worcester. Recently he has done landmark work on the neural mechanisms underpinning seasonal migration in the Monarch butterfly.

What: 'Monarch butterfly migration: from behavior to genes'.

When: Tuesday 11th September 2012, 16:00-17:00

Where: Physiology Lecture Theatre, Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, Downing Site.

Who: Professor Steven M. Reppert, MD

Additional information: The talk will be followed by a drinks reception.

Abstract: Studies of the iconic migration of the eastern North American monarch butterfly have revealed mechanisms behind its navigation using a time-compensated sun compass.  Skylight cues, such as the sun itself and polarized light, are processed through both eyes and integrated in the brain’s central complex, the presumed site of the sun compass.  Circadian clocks that have a distinct molecular mechanism and that reside in the antennae provide time compensation.  The draft sequence of the monarch genome has been presented, and gene-targeting approaches have been developed to manipulate putative migration genes.  The monarch butterfly is an outstanding system to study the neural and molecular basis of long-distance migration. For more details see

Suggested readings:

  • Reppert SM, Gegear RJ, Merlin C (2010). Navigational mechanisms of migrating monarch butterflies. TINS 33:399-406.
  • Heinze S, Reppert SM (2011). Sun compass integration of skylight cues in migratory monarch butterflies. Neuron 69:345-358.
  • Zhan S, Merlin C, Boore JL, Reppert SM. The monarch genome yields insights into long-distance migration. Cell 2011; 147:1171-1185.

Posted on 03/08/2012

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