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Dawn Chen

Graduate Student

Genetics, Genomics and Development

Co-advised by Dr. Andy Clark

BA in Genetics, Rutgers University, 2015

Sperm competition occurs when sperm from different males are present simultaneously in a female's reproductive tract, and compete for opportunities to fertilize her eggs. Previous research in Drosophila melanogaster has shown that the male genotype, female genotype and male x female genotypic interactions can all influence the outcome of sperm competition. Although the mechanisms by which females mediate sperm competition is not well known, a few studies suggest that the female nervous system might play an important role. My research focuses on studying how the female's nervous system mediates her involvement in sperm competition and cryptic female choice.