Jasmine L. Loveland, PhD

I am a neurobiologist with a strong interest in how conserved neuron types and brain structures can provide the basis for behavioral diversity, particularly in aggression and courtship. I strive to provide mechanistic explanations for behavior phenotypes, integrating the connectivity of brain areas, hormonal effects, gene expression networks and functional pathways.

In my current work as a Lise Meitner Fellow I study how genetics and hormones shape the brain and mating behavior of male ruffs (Calidris pugnax), a species with alternative mating tactics linked to a chromosome inversion. We combine behavioral, neuroanatomical and transcriptomics analyses to gain insight on the evolution of this fascinating species.

Learn more about the FWF project “Neural bases for behavior differences in male ruffs” (#M3302-B)

Some of my past research topics include:

  • Morph differences in the response to a GnRH challenge and pituitary gene expression in ruffs (Max Planck Institute for Ornithology)
  • Characterization of testicular expression of genes involved in steroidogenesis in the ruff (Max Planck Institute for Ornithology)
  • Allele-specific expression of inversion genes, including the breakpoint gene CENPN, across tissues in the ruff (Max Planck Institute for Ornithology)
  • Neural activity and roles for oxytocin-family peptides in innate predispositions that precede imprinting in chicken (Center for Mind/Brain Sciences, CIMeC, University of Trento)
  • Changes in serotonin turnover in association with social rank in the African cichlid Astatotilapia burtoni (Stanford University)
  • Activation of vasotocin neurons during male aggression, but not courtship, in Astatotilapia burtoni (Stanford University)
  • Control of female spawning behavior by prostaglandin F2-alpha in Astatotilapia burtoni (Stanford University)
  • Evolution of the ribozyme component of bacterial RNase P, a ribonucleoprotein responsible for tRNA processing (Smith College)

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Profile at the Department of Behavioral and Cognitive Biology, University of Vienna