PhD Opportunity: Sleep

Why do almost all animals we know of need to sleep?  Although we need to sleep every night, we still understand very little about the basic functions of sleep.  However, we know that if we don't get enough sleep, we can't learn and pay attention well, suggesting sleep is important for the brain.  We are using Drosophila to understand how and why sleep optimises brain functions such as selective attention.

In our lab, we have developed novel behavioural methods to measure sleep in Drosophila, using the Drosophila ARousal Tracking system (DART).  We have also discovered that flies have different sleep stages (akin to rapid eye movement sleep and deep sleep in humans) that may serve different brain functions.  In this project, you will have opportunities to use a variety of electrophysiological and behavioural techniques, as well as genetic tools, to probe the functions of sleep.

To find out more or to make an inquiry, use our contact us page to contact A/Prof. Bruno van Swinderen.