Elizabeth Glater

Awardee: Elizabeth Glater, associate professor of neuroscience, examines how genes and environment modify the nervous system to produce different behaviors. She works with the nematode C. elegans which has many genes that are similar to humans and a well-characterized nervous system of only 302 neurons.

The Hahn teaching grant will support the development of a new lab module for her upper-level neuroscience course, Genes and Behavior. In this module, students will learn how to analyze C. elegans movement using computer code written by members of the C. elegans research community.

Title: Learning how to do quantitative analysis of the behavior of the nematode C. elegans

Goal: The goal of Elizabeth’s project is to to provide students with experience in quantifying the movement of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, an organism with a well-characterized nervous system that provides insight about how to nervous system produces behavior. She also aims to help students enhance their skills in analyzing data using computational methods. Students will be given the opportunity to record videos of C. elegans movement and use existing Matlab code, named Wormtracker, to analyze and quantify their behavior. Students will also learn to create meaningful data visualizations using Python.