Roel Bevers

Research interests | Experience | Education

Research interests

One of my main interests is to study the evolutionary and physiological mechanisms underlying ageing and life history. The processes of ageing have been shown to vary greatly both in natural and laboratory populations undergoing experimental evolution. In many studies, the insulin signalling pathway (IIS) has been identified to be causally linked to variation observed in longevity and was found to show genetic variation over a latitudinal cline along the North American east cost. However, not only genetic variation may be responsible for the differences observed in lifespan and correlated life history traits. Changes in the environment (e.g. temperature) can also have tremendous effects on the lifespan and correlated life history traits. For instance, low temperature and short photoperiod can induce an adult diapause (or dormancy) state in Drosophila melanogaster that results in arrested reproduction, increased stress resistance and improved adult survival. Along the North American east coast, diapause incidence is clinally distributed along a latitudinal gradient, with a significantly higher proportion of flies from Northern populations being able to express diapause as compared to Southern populations. Most recently, a single amino acid polymorphism in the couch potato (cpo) gene has been identified by our collaborator Paul Schmidt and collaborators as being responsible for natural variation in diapause incidence. To date not much is known about the exact physiological function of cpo in adult flies. My project will focus on the role of cpo in adult flies; in brief, we will direct inducible transgenic RNAi against cpo in specific tissues including endocrine tissues. This will allow us to observe the physiological mechanisms, including effects on steroid hormone and insulin signalling, whereby cpo modulates adult life history.



Mar 2013 – Present
Internship at the Flatt Research Group

Aug 2012 – Feb 2013
MSc Thesis at Department of Genetics, Wageningen University. (Experimental Evolution in Drosophila at the Zwaan lab)

Jan 2011 – July 2011
Technician/Junior Researcher at Department of Nematology, Wageningen University. (Quantitative Genetics in C. elegans at the Kammenga lab)

Feb 2010 – Dec 2010
Internship (Bachelor) at Department of Nematology, Wageningen University. (Quantitative Genetics in C. elegans at the Kammenga lab)



2011 - Aug 2013 (Expected)
M.Sc. Biotechnology
Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Specialization in Cellular and Molecular Biotechnology with additional courses in systems biology and genomics.

2006 - 2011
B.A.Sc. (Bachelor of Applied Sciences) Biology and Applied Medical Laboratory Technology
Avans University of Applied Sciences – School of Life Sciences and Environmental Technology, Breda, The Netherlands. Specialization in Biomedical Research and Bioinformatics.


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