Flavio Angei - Master Student

Flavio obtained his Bachelors in Biology from the University of Lausanne in 2011. He worked in the lab from February 2012 to Jan 2013 for his research project as part of his Masters in Medical Biology, working with Carol Gomez-Diaz. He is currently a Regulatory Affairs Manager at SOPHiA GENETICS.


J. Roman Arguello - Post-doctoral Fellow

Roman obtained his PhD in evolutionary genetics from the University of Chicago (Committee on Evolutionary Biology) in 2008, while working with Prof. Manyuan Long's Group. His research focused on the molecular evolution and population genetics of gene families (including chemoreceptor families) and the rarely recombining fourth chromosome in the D. melanogaster subgroup. Following his PhD, he carried out a post doc with Prof. Andrew Clark's Group at Cornell where he was involved in generating and analyzing population genomic data sets designed to investigate the forces leading to genetic and phenotypic divergence between geographically diverse D. melanogaster populations. Roman joined the lab in Jan 2013 with the aim of bridging his evolutionary genomics background with functional studies of Drosophila chemosensory evolution, supported by a Novartis Foundation grant. In July 2018, he established his own laboratory at the Department of Ecology and Evolution, UNIL.


Thomas Auer - Post-doctoral Fellow

Thomas obtained his Bachelor and Master degrees from the Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg where he was working on cis-regulation in the teleost fish Medaka in the lab of Joachim Wittbrodt. After a short research stay in Okazaki, Japan he started his PhD as a joint project between the labs of Joachim Wittbrodt and Filippo Del Bene at the Institut Curie in Paris. There he was developing genome editing tools in zebrafish and studied the role of axonal transport in visual system development. He joined our lab in April 2015 to work on the genetic basis of olfactory circuit evolution, supported by an HFSP Long-Term Fellowship. In January 2020, he established an independent group at the CIG, funded by an SNF Ambizione Grant, on gustatory evolution in drosophilids.


Jan Armida - PhD Student

Jan obtained his Bachelors in Biology from the University of Lausanne in 2011. He worked in the lab during Oct-Dec 2011 for his First Steps project as part of his Masters in Medical Biology, under the supervision of Carol Gomez-Diaz, before joining Nicolas Toni's group at the Department of Fundamental Neuroscience for his Master's Thesis. He returned to our lab in June 2013 for his doctoral research, investigating the molecular basis of olfactory neuron pathfinding, and received his PhD in June 2018. He is currently a scientist at BioInnovation Solutions SA.


Benoîte Bargeton - Post-doctoral Fellow

Benoîte obtained her Masters in Biology at the Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris VI, FR). During her PhD thesis in Stephan Kellenberger's lab at the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at UNIL she studied a mammalian neural sodium channel, and began a collaboration with our lab to study Ionotropic Receptor function in Xenopus oocytes. She continued this work in our group during Sep 2010-Feb 2011, before joining Francisco Bezanilla's lab at the University of Chicago. Following this post-doctoral training, she returned to our lab to work on IR ligand recognition from Sep 2012-August 2017. After leaving our lab, she pursued her career in scientific project management and public outreach.

Rati.jpg Rati Bell - PhD Student

Rati obtained her MSc from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, in 2007. Her research on the role of the thalamus on paired-associate memory was conducted with John Dalrymple-Alford and Larry Field of the Van der Veer Institute. Rati began her PhD research in the lab in August 2008, and she was awarded a fellowhip from the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds in July 2009. Rati successfully defended her PhD thesis in July 2013. She is currently working as a molecular biologist at the Food and Environment Research Agency in York, UK.

Jerome.jpg Jérôme Blanc - Technician

Jérôme worked in the lab from September 2010-June 2011 for a "stage" as part of his technician training course.


Alexandre Cergneux - Summer Student

Alexander has just finished the second year of his Bachelors in Biology at UNIL. He joined our group in July-Aug 2018 to gain a first experience of lab research, working with Thomas Auer.


Andrea Coti - Masters Student

Andrea obtained her Bachelors degree in Biology from the University of Novi Sad, Serbia, in 2017. During the third year of this degree, she worked in the Laboratory for Evolutionary Biology in the Department of Biology and Ecology on a project investigating fluctuating asymmetry in wing traits of Culex pipiens mosquitoes populations from different microhabitats. She joined our group during Oct-Dec 2017 for a first-steps project as part of her Masters in Behaviour, Evolution and Conservation, working with Marta Scalzotto.


Phing Chian Chai - Post-doctoral Fellow

Phing Chian obtained his BSc from the National University of Singapore, where he studied the role of free radicals and proteasomal functions in biological systems under the supervision of Barry Halliwell. He then joined William Chia's lab in Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (Singapore) for his PhD. During his PhD, he was co-supervised by Yu Cai to study the actions of Hedgehog and Notch pathways in the development of the Drosophila central nervous system. He worked in our group during April 2014-Mar 2019, focussing on the fate mapping and developmental genetics of the peripheral olfactory system. He went on to a position as Forensic Scientist (DNA DatabaseLab) with the Health Science Authority, Singapore.

Rachel.jpg Rachel Crosby - Summer Undergraduate Research programme student

Rachel is studying Natural Science at the University of Cambridge, with a particular interest in animal behaviour. She worked with Roman Arguello during July-August 2014 as part of the UNIL SUR programme.

Annick.jpg Annick Crevoisier - Administrative Assistant

Annick worked with us for the first 10 years of the Benton Lab, handling diverse financial, personnel (and social!) responsibilities, before moving on to a new position at the Department of Fundamental Neurosciences in summer 2016.

Vincent.jpg Vincent Croset - PhD Student

Vincent obtained his Bachelors in Biology in 2007 from the University of Lausanne. He joined the lab in February 2008 for a research project as part of his Masters in Genomics and Experimental Biology, for which he was awarded a "Prix de Faculté" from the Ecole de Biologie. He began his PhD research in the lab in February 2009. In May 2009, he was awarded an EMBO Short-Term Fellowship for research training in bioinformatics in Toby Gibson's group at EMBL. He was awarded a Boehringer Ingelheim PhD Fellowship in November 2009. Vincent successfully defended his thesis in April 2013. In July 2013, he joined Scott Waddell's lab at the University of Oxford for his post-doctoral training, supported by a SNF Post-Doctoral Fellowship.

Jeanne.jpg Jeanne Du Fay De Lavallaz - Summer Student

Jeanne obtained her Maturity in Burier High school in July 2010. She took part in a four-week lab research in the Weizmann Institute in Israel in July 2009 and worked occasionally during 2009-2010 in Christian Fankhauser's lab at the CIG. Before going to study medicine at the University of Fribourg, Jeanne worked in the lab with Michael Saina for six weeks in July-August 2010.

Carol.jpg Carolina Gomez-Diaz - Post-doctoral Fellow

Carol obtained her Bachelors in Biology from the University of Oviedo. During her PhD thesis in Esther Alcorta's lab she studied genes involved in olfactory transduction of Drosophila melanogaster, receiving her PhD in 2009 from the University of Oviedo. Carol joined the lab in July 2009, in part supported by a fellowship from the Asturian Fellowship Foundation. She went on to a Research Associate position at the University of Konstanz in August 2014, before starting her own laboratory at the University of Oviedo in January 2017.

Marion_1_.jpg Marion Graf - Technician

Marion worked in the lab during April-December 2009 for a "Stage" as part of her technician training.

Yael.jpg Yaël Grosjean - Post-doctoral Fellow

Yaël performed his PhD research in the lab of Jean-Francois Ferveur, at the University of Burgundy, Dijon, studying the genetic control of courtship behaviour in Drosophila. Between 2004-2007 he worked with Dave Featherstone at the University of Illinois at Chicago, before joining the lab in October 2007. He took up a group leader position with the CNRS in Dijon in January 2010. Yaël was awarded a CNRS Bronze Medal in 2012.

Romainedit.jpg Romain Groux - Undergraduate Technical Assistant

Romain is currently in the second year of his Bachelors in Biology at the University of Lausanne, and provided ad hoc technical assistance in the lab during 2011-2012.


Lisa Haerri - Trainee Technician

After spending a year in the United States to learn English, Lisa studied at Chamblandes Gymnasium with the biology/chemistry option. She obtained her Certificate of General Knowledge in June 2013. After a year of internships in different laboratories, she began her training as a laboratory technician in biology at the University of Lausanne, joining our group in March 2016. In Sept 2016, she went on to continue her training in the Fankhauser group at the CIG.


Adrian Herrera - Civilist

Adrian obtained his Bachelors in Biology from the University of Geneva in 2015, before undertaking a Masters at the University of Neuchâtel, where he pursued a research project in Klaus Zuberbühler’s lab in Comparative Cognition. He worked in our lab during Aug 2017-Dec 2018 as part of his civil service.


Eleni Lamprou - Summer Undergraduate Research programme student

Eleni is an undergraduate student at the Biomedical Science Department of the Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki (ATEITH), Greece. She has just finished the third year of studies and her scientific interests are in neuroscience and immunology. She worked in our lab during summer 2019 as a SUR student for her first experience in the world of research, mentored by Thomas Auer.


Adria Le Boeuf - Post-doctoral Fellow

Adria obtained her B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara where she studied the contributions of microtubule dynamics to neurodegenerative disease. For her PhD work in Jim Hudspeth's lab of Sensory Neuroscience at the Rockefeller University, she studied the biophysical and mechanical contributions of electrostatics to the mechanosensory organelles of the inner ear, and was granted a National Research Service Award from the NIDCD, receiving her PhD in 2011. She performed post-doctoral research jointly in our lab and that of Laurent Keller in the Department of Ecology and Evolution on the evolution and function of socially-exchanged fluid in ants. In 2016, she went on to join Ofer Feinerman's lab to pursue these interests funded by a Swiss Friends of Weizmann Institute of Science Postdoctoral Fellowship, before returning to Switzerland in 2019 to establish her own group at the University of Fribourg, funded by  an SNF PRIMA grant. Outside the lab, Adria is very actively invovled in science communication and is the founder and strategic director of The Catalyst, a Science-Theater Collective. For more information see her website.

Cristina.jpg Cristina Leoni - Masters Student

Cristina obtained her Bachelors in Biology from the University of Lausanne in 2009. She started her Masters in Genomics and Experimental Biology in September 2009 and worked in the lab in autumn 2009 for a "First Steps Project".


Sean McKenzie - Post-doctoral Fellow

Sean obtained his PhD in social evolution and behaviour from the Rockefeller University in 2018. His PhD research in Daniel Kronauer's lab examined genomic adaptations facilitating communication and behavioural coordination in social insects, especially chemosensory genes used in pheromone perception. Sean started a Marie Curie post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of Lausanne in February 2018, working jointly in our lab and in Laurent Keller’s lab in the Department of Ecology and Evolution. He was interested the evolutionary development of the insect olfactory system, using various insect models including silkmoths and ants to work on questions that have proven difficult to study in the standard insect model Drosophila melanogaster. In Sept 2018, he took up a lectureship in biology at Gonzaga University, Washington.


Sabine Mentha - Masters Student

Sabine obtained her Bachelors in Biology from the University of Lausanne in 2013, followed by a Masters degree in Molecular Life Sciences. After a First steps project in bioinformatics in the lab of Marc Robinson-Rechavi, she worked in our group during Feb 2014-Jan 2015 for her Masters research project on a structure-function analysis of IRs, supervised by Benoîte Bargeton.

Vlad.jpg Vlad Panin - Sabbatical Visitor

Vlad Panin obtained his PhD in Moscow State University in Russia. He worked for several years as a Research Scientist in two Academy of Science Institutes in Moscow (Engelghardt Institute of Molecular Biology and Institute of Gene Biology) studying gene regulation and neurogenetics using Drosophila and mouse systems. Vlad moved to the US and joined Ken Irvine's laboratory at Rutgers University as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in 1995. His postdoctoral project concentrated on revealing molecular and genetic mechanisms of glycosylation-mediated regulation of the Notch pathway in Drosophila. In 2002, he started his lab as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at Texas A&M University in Texas, USA. He is currently an Associate Professor there. His current research interests are focused on the role of glycosylation in the regulation of the nervous system in Drosophila. He was hosted in our lab from Aug 2013-Jan 2014 to learn more about the fly olfactory system, supported by an SNF International Short Visit Grant.

Jovana.jpg Jovana Plavsa - Summer Undergraduate Research programme student

Jovana worked the lab during July-August 2011 as part of the UNIL SUR programme, working with Anand Sivasubramaniam. She is currently studying at the University of Novi Sad, Serbia.


Lucia Prieto-Godino - Post-doctoral Fellow

Lucia obtained her B.A. from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, where she did her research thesis on olfactory processing in flies in the lab of Gonzalo Garcia de Polavieja. After a summer working on vision evolution in box jellyfish in the lab of Dan Nilsson at Lund University, she joined Michael Bate's group at the University of Cambridge for her PhD. During her PhD she studied the embryonic development of the Drosophila olfactory system, receiving her PhD in 2011. She was awarded a FEBS long-term post-doctoral fellowship to study the genetic basis of olfactory pathway evolution in Drosophila in our lab. She joined the group in March 2012, and went on to establish her own laboratory at the The Francis Crick Institute in January 2018. She was awarded the FENS EJN Young Investigator Prize 2018. Outside the lab, Lucia founded and runs TReND (Teaching and Research in Natural Sciences for Development) in Africa.


Pavan Ramdya - Post-doctoral Fellow

Pavan obtained his PhD in Neurobiology from Harvard University in 2009, working in Florian Engert's group. He received an HFSP Long-term Post-doctoral fellowship in 2009 to study the neural mechanisms underlying behavioural evolution in the Benton lab and Dario Floreano's Intelligent Systems group at the EPFL. For his work, he received the UNIL FBM Award "Prix du jeune chercheur en sciences fondamentales" in 2015. See his personal page for more details. In March 2015, he went on to Michael Dickinson's lab at Caltech, supported by an SNF Advanced.Mobility Post-doctoral Fellowship, before establishing his own laboratory as Tenure-Track Assistant Professor at the EPFL Brain Mind Institute/Interfaculty Institute of Bioengineering.

Michael_reid.jpg Michael Reid - Post-doctoral Fellow

Michael worked with Irving T. Diamond at Duke University and then Robin Davis at Rutgers University on sensory encoding before completing his PhD research, also on sensory encoding, in Manfred Kössl's group at the Goethe Universität, Frankfurt. Michael specialises in characterising the physiological properties of sensory neurons with patch-clamp electrophysiology. He worked in the lab during 2008-2009 on heterologous functional expression of Ionotropic Receptors.

Jaime.jpg Jaime Reina - Technician

Jaime Reina obtained his Master degree at the University of Geneva in 2005. During his PhD thesis in the laboratory of Nouria Hernandez at the Center for Integrative Genomics, he studied the role of the human Maf1 protein as a repressor of RNA polymerase III transcription. He received his PhD degree from the University of Lausanne in 2009. He worked on pheromone signaling in the lab from Feb 2010-April 2013, before joining Axonlab.

Raphael.jpg Raphaël Rytz - PhD Student

Raphael obtained his Masters in Biology with a major in Zoology in 2006 at the University of Bern. In his Diploma thesis at the Computational and Molecular Population Genetics lab, he studied the social dynamics in a free-living common vole population. He joined the lab for his PhD research in May 2008. Raphael was awarded a Roche Research Foundation Fellowship in September 2008. Raphael successfully defended his thesis in December 2012. He left the lab in June 2013 and now works as a Research Associate at the Federal Office of Public Health in Bern.

MichaelS.jpg Michael Saina - Post-doctoral Fellow

Michael obtained his Masters in Biology from the Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany. He performed his PhD research at the Sars International Centre for Marine Molecular Biology in Bergen, Norway in the group of Ulrich Technau. He investigated the role of TGF-beta signalling during embryonic development of the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis. He worked in the lab from 2009-2014, before moving on to a position at UBS as a Compliance and Operational Risk Specialist.


Juan Antonio Sánchez Alcañiz - Post-doctoral Fellow

Juan obtained his MS in Biochemistry from the University Miguel Hernández of Elche (Spain). He obtained his PhD in 2010 in the lab of Prof. Óscar Marín at the Institute of Neurosciences of Alicante (Spain), studying the intracortical migration of GABAergic interneurons in the mouse neocortex. He joined the lab in August 2012 to study gustatory circuitry in Drosophila, funded by EMBO, FEBS and HFSP Long Term Fellowships. He went on to his establish his own laboratory at the Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante in 2019.


Marta Scalzotto - PhD Student

Marta obtained her Masters degree from the University of Padova, Italy, in 2014, performing her thesis research at the University of Leicester, UK, as an Erasmus student. There she worked with Ezio Rosato and Flaviano Giorgini to characterise the activity of a light-switchable transgene system in Drosophila. She joined our lab in 2014, and went on to a Diploma of Advanced Studies in Management of Clinical Trials at the University of Geneva in 2019.


Ana Florencia Silbering - Post-doctoral Fellow

Ana obtained her Masters in Biology at the University of Buenos Aires. During her PhD thesis in Giovanni Galizia's lab at the University of Konstanz she studied odour coding in the olfactory system of Drosophila. She received her PhD in 2007 from the Free University of Berlin. She worked in the lab during 2008-2018, characterising the sensory receptors and neural circuits underlying olfactory and hygrosensory behaviours. She went on to a position as Chargée de Projet at the Medical Education Unit at UNIL.

Anand.jpg Anantha Krishna Sivasubramaniam - PhD Student

Anand obtained his BSc from University College London, where he did his research thesis in the lab of Stephen Hunt. He then went on to do his Msc in Charite Berlin where he worked in the lab of Gary Lewin. During the course of his studies he developed an interest in sensory transduction and will continue to pursue this field in the Drosophila chemosensory system. He left us in July 2014 and is now teaching science to high-school students.

Ruichen.jpg Ruichen Sun - Summer Undergraduate Research programme student

Ruichen is currently studying biomedical engineering at the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China. She was in the lab in July-August 2010 as part of the University of Lausanne Summer Undergraduate Research programme, during which she worked with Vincent Croset. Back in her college in China, Ruichen is doing biochemical research relating to platelet activation in Professor Kesheng Dai's lab. She returned to the lab as a visiting student during Feb-Mar 2011 to work with Raphael Rytz. She went on to the Graduate School of Biological Sciences at UCSD, where she pursued her doctoral thesis with Ralph Greenspan.


Pedro Tan - Summer Undergraduate Research programme student

Pedro is a biomedical undergraduate student from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil. At UFRJ he has worked with mouse models to study the role of replicative stress signalling during retinal development under the supervision of Professor Rodrigo Alves Portela Martins. As a 2018 SUR student in our lab, he worked with Kaan Mika on Drosophila olfactory receptor expression regulation.


Naoko Toshima - Visiting student

Naoko obtained her Bachelors degree in Biology in 2011 and Masters degree in 2013 at Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan. In 2013, she began her PhD research in Dr. Teiichi Tanimura’s lab, where she is working on the mechanisms of amino acid-driven feeding behaviour and its interaction with nutritional status in Drosophila. She joined our lab as a visiting student in Jan 2015, supported by a Bilateral Japanese-Swiss Science and Technology Programme Exchange studentship.

Yueying_Wang.jpg Yueying Wang - Summer Undergraduate Research programme student

Yueying is a student from Shaanxi Normal University in China, majoring in Biology. In Nov 2010, her team discovered the symmetry of insect herbivory patterns on Trifolium repens L. leaves. Since August 2011, she has been working as a research assistant in the Gene Therapy Laboratory of Shaanxi Normal University. She worked with Ana Silbering during July-August 2012 as part of the University of Lausanne Summer Undergraduate Research programme.

Alexandre.jpg Alexandre Wicky - Summer Student

Alexandre worked with Ana Silbering during summer 2009 between the first and second year of his Bachelors degree in Biology at the University of Lausanne.

widmer.jpg Deborah Widmer - Masters Student

Deborah obtained her Bachelor of Biology from the University of Neuchâtel. She came to Lausanne to do a Masters in Conservation Biology and worked in the lab during October-December 2008 for a "First Steps Project".

Jane.jpg Jane Yi - Masters Student

Jane received her bachelors in Biology with an emphasis in Neuroscience at the University of California Berkeley. Her previous work includes investigating the role of corticostriatal plasticity in abstract skill learning using ECoG microarrays. She is currently a masters student in Medical Biology at UNIL. Her first-steps project in our lab was to map the neural circuits of Drosophila under the supervision of Pavan Ramdya. She went on to do her Masters project with Paola Bezzi in the Department of Fundamental Neurosciences.



richard_benton-8889_edit.jpg (Richard Benton)

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