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Seminar/ Colloquium

Home  »  Colloquium   »   Cool behaviours that can be studied using the little worm

Cool behaviours that can be studied using the little worm

Date & Time: 30th April 2024 (Tuesday), 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Venue:  UG lab Lecture Hall at Permanent Campus

Speaker:  Dr. Kavita Babu

                 Associate Professor,

                 Centre of Neuroscience, IISc, Bangalore

Title:  Cool behaviours that can be studied using the little worm”.


Foraging is important for sustenance of animals. In Caenorhabditis elegans, it is an amalgam of multiple locomotory movements including forward crawls, turns and reversals. When C. elegans are transferred from well-fed conditions to conditions without food, they explore the arena in a localised manner with combinations of movements. Defects in reorientations and/or body wave parameters like amplitude of sinusoidal waves causes inefficient exploration of the environment. This exploration is reported to be mediated by chemosensory and mechanosensory neurons in coordination with the metabolic status of the organism. However, the underlying neuromodulators of this behaviour remain unclear. We hypothesise that the wireless neuropeptidergic circuit regulates foraging behaviours. I will talk about our ongoing work on the identification of neuropeptides and their receptors that are involved in allowing for normal movement in C. elegans. My talk will delve into multiple behavioural paradigms and cell biological experiments to elucidate mechanisms underlying multiple locomotory behaviours.


Kavita completed her undergraduate degree in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics, from St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore. She then attended the MSc Biotechnology programme at The Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU), Baroda but left midway to pursue her doctorate at Professor William Chia’s laboratory at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB, now IMCB-A*STAR), Singapore, King’s College London (MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology), London and Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory. Kavita went on to do her Post-doctoral research at Professor Josh Kaplan’s laboratory at the Massachusetts General Hospital (Department of Molecular Biology), Boston, MA. Subsequently, in August 2011, Kavita joined IISER, Mohali. After spending more than 7 years in Mohali, Kavita moved back home in 2019 and is currently studying aspects of the C. elegans nervous system at The Centre for Neuroscience (CNS) at Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore.

Kavita was a Wellcome Trust — DBT India Alliance Intermediate Fellow and a recipient of the DBT-Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award. She is currently a Wellcome Trust — DBT India Alliance Senior Fellow and is a recipient of the Janaki Ammal- National Women Bioscientist Award (young category, 2019).