Björn Brembs

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Good bye Lena, welcome Weitian!

on Tuesday, October 25th, 2016 6:53

Lena Matzeder just finished her Bachelor thesis, entitled “Is anxiety a factor influencing photo-preference in Drosophila melanogaster?“. She administered Diazepam (valium) to flies and asked them if that changed their preference for bright or dark places. A warm welcome to Weitian Sun, a Master’s student who will be testing candidate genes for their involvement in operant self-learning.

Good luck Christian

on Friday, April 29th, 2016 10:25

Our graduate student, Christian Rohrsen, was so fortunate to receive grant funding for a six-month research stay in the laboratory of Benjamin de Bivort at Harvard University. All of us here are very excited at this opportunity and are wishing him all the best of luck with his projects there!

With all our undergraduate students graduating and our graduate student on research leave, the lab has now shrunk to two people plus our technician. Looks like it’s going to be lonely for a while.

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Good bye Isabelle and Bianca


I just received the Bachelor theses from Isabelle Steymans and Bianca Birk. Both have worked tirelessly and diligently on their respective projects, but with very different outcomes. While both outcomes are very useful, one managed to answer a scientific question, while the other showed that the method we tried did not work. Research often is this unfair, with discovery acting more like a capricious belladonna than even a lottery. Research results are, of course, impossible to predict, so the difference in outcome will not affect their grades.

We are very happy with the work of these two students, we enjoyed their time with us and hope they also enjoyed their research here in our lab. All the best to you two!

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Good bye Katrin and Amelie

on Thursday, March 24th, 2016 10:55

Two students have recently left our lab, Katrin Hofweber and Amelie Rödel. Katrin was a master’s student working on the role of dopaminergic neurons in reward/punishment using optogenetics. Amelie’s task was to find out what, if any, temperature had on the photopreference of flies. She summarized her work in her Bachelor thesis entitled “Temperature impact on phototactic preference in Drosophila melanogaster

Farewell you two, we enjoyed having you in the lab and will always be happy seeing you again. Good luck and all the best!

Category: Lab | 1 Comment

Good bye Pablo!

on Friday, March 4th, 2016 5:00

After more than four months in our lab, we said good bye to Pablo Martinez (between Axel and Christian in the picture below).

2016-02-26 20.23.54He worked tirelessly to collect data on spontaneous flight behavior using strokelitude. We have enjoyed his visit tremendously and wish him all the best in his future research endeavors. Many thanks, Pablo!

The next students to leave the lab will be Amelie Roedel, Isabelle Steymans and Bianca Birk, who are writing up their theses right now.

Category: Lab | No Comments clean again

on Friday, June 21st, 2013 8:30

I have now cleaned the site from all malicious code and installed a few new plug-ins which I still need to properly adjust all settings. The site should now almost be back to normal, please resume posting your data and let me know if there is anything that still needs fixing!

Mine is bigger than yours!

on Thursday, November 29th, 2012 6:36

My camera is bigger than Julien’s :mrgreen: I realized that the camera I had been using to track the laser position in my flight simulator didn’t quite fit with the way everything is arranged now. I remembered I had seen an old camera in the basement, so I went there to check it out. It worked really well and it provides a fantastic picture of the fly. It’s just that it is now the largest piece of the equipment:

This should last a while

on Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 7:11

The workshop has been busy recently…

‘Which’ or ‘that’? Which is it?

on Sunday, October 30th, 2011 6:50

Not only us foreign scientists struggle with the English language when we give presentations or write papers or grant proposals. The native speakers also sometimes find themselves in difficult waters with their own language. Here’s an excellent article on the use of ‘which’ and ‘that’. It starts like that:

“I have a niggle,” says a reader. “My copy of the Guardian style guide clearly explains the difference between that and which, but this advice often fails to make it to the pages of the Guardian.” She quotes an example: “An overhaul of consumer protection rights, led by the consumers’ champion, Ed Mayo, is to be announced by Labour on Monday as the party moves to confront ‘bad companies’ which cheat customers.”

Go and read the whole thing and don’t start writing that manuscript before you’ve memorized it! :-)

Error bars in experimental biology

on Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 7:25

Just came across this all-time classic paper from 2007. Every student of biology should be familiar with it!

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