Press Release

Dr. Bettina Schnell leads new independent research group

14 Sep 2017 at 22:49

On September 1st, Dr. Bettina Schnell joined caesar as head of the research group “Neurobiology of Flight Control”. The research will be funded by a grant from the Emmy Noether program of the DFG. Studying fruit flies as model organisms, her research aims at discovering the neuronal mechanisms, which allow animals to navigate.

Bonn, September 2017. Bettina Schnell will build up a new independent group funded by a research grant from the Emmy Noether program of the DFG. Dr. Schnell seeks to identify the neural circuits and mechanisms, which allow animals to execute steering maneuvers during flight. Fruit flies or Drosophila melanogaster serve as model organisms, from which the scientist can record behavioral and neuronal activity simultaneously. Dr. Schnell and fellow scientists have thus discovered a previously unknown descending neuron. This neuron plays a key role in controlling turns during flight. Such turns may come spontaneously or as a reaction to a visual stimulus. In both cases, the descending neuron sends commands from the brain to the motor system which enable the fly to navigate.

Bettina Schnell
Dr. Bettina Schnell is the leader of caesar’s new independent research group “Neurobiology of Flight Control”.

Her current research builds upon Dr. Schnell’s past experience in the field of neurobiology. Bettina Schnell studied biology at the University of Würzburg, Germany, received her PhD degree from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Munich, Germany where she remained as a postdoc until 2011. Subsequently, Dr. Schnell undertook further postdoctoral research at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA.

Dr. Schnell’s research relies on a variety of state-of-the-art techniques. She employs the simultaneous recording of neuronal activity with electrophysiological and optical methods as well as behavioral parameters such as wing movements. In addition, genetic manipulations in the fruit fly enable her to single out individual neurons and pin down their functionality. Scientists working in other research groups at caesar study complex behaviors in a variety of species, which serves as the basis for fruitful interdisciplinary cooperations and mutual inspiration.

caesar Foundation

The caesar foundation is associated with the Max Planck Society and operates a center for neuroscience research in Bonn. The scientific work is carried out according to the excellence criteria of the Max Planck Society.

For further information please contact:

Also interesting:

News

8 Aug 2022

ERC Starting Grant goes to Bettina Schnell for her studies on how tiny fly brains make decisions

Keep reading

News

6 Jul 2022

A virtual reality for flies: A new method for measurements in behaving animals

A new experimental setup allows for measurements in flies that "walk" in a virtual reality. Using this approach, the researchers demonstrated that flies can memorize and find a specific place.

Keep reading

News

17 Jun 2022

Our Public Lab opened its doors again

Nach langer Pause wieder Schüler*innen vor Ort bei un

Keep reading