BIO Seminar: Metabolic Pathways Involved in Appetite Regulation and Poll
  • FENS
  • BIO Seminar: Metabolic Pathways Involved in Appetite Regulation and Poll

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Molecular Biology Genetics and Bioengineering


Metabolic pathways involved in appetite regulation and pollinator decline



Dr. Christopher Mayack - Swarthmore College



How the physiology of highly social organisms such as humans and honey bees differs from less social species remains a long-standing unsolved mystery in the field of biology. As such its role in the uncoupling of appetite and the energetic state of the individual from the amount of communal food stores and how these implications may impact the most recent global obesity epidemic remains elusive. I will demonstrate that an infection in the highly social honey bee is capable of uncoupling the appetite and energetic state despite ample built-up communal food stores. Furthermore, there are differential responses of highly conserved regulatory metabolic pathways, which are likely to vary in association with social behavior levels that in turn are likely to impact appetite regulation. Lastly, I will discuss my future research interests of taking a comparative physiology approach studying a variety of bee species to understand how the hormonal metabolic regulatory networks have been altered in response to hunger in an adaptive manner that are likely to play a role in the transition from solitary to social behavior. To further these research goals, I will discuss ongoing student research projects that use molecular tools to investigate the neural and physiological hormonal regulatory mechanisms which underlie appetite regulation across different bee species with varying levels of social behavior and an exposomics approach to better understand the causal stressors involved in the collapse of bee colonies around the world.



Biosketch for Dr. Christopher Mayack

Christopher (Chris) Mayack graduated with honors in biology and a minor in chemistry from State University of New York at Geneseo in 2007 and then earned a Ph.D. in Zoology along with a Master’s in Teaching Certificate from Colorado State University in 2012. During his Ph.D., he was a pioneer studying physiological and behavioral effects of the now world-wide distributed honey bee fungal gut pathogen that is implicated to play a major role in the most recent bee declines, called Nosema ceranae. He was awarded a two-and-a-half-year Alexander von Humboldt Post-Doctoral Fellowship that was conducted in Germany at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg to investigate variation in highly conserved metabolic pathways associated with the transition from solitary to social behavior. Currently, Chris is now a Visiting Assistant Professor at Swarthmore College within the biology department where he mentors a number of undergraduate research students using molecular tools to better understand appetite regulation and its association with maintaining energetic homeostasis to determine how energetic stress can cause highly social honey bee colonies to collapse.


May 18, 15:40, FENS 2019 - skype