Research Group Vallentin
Song production and learning is governed by different cell types across multiple regions within the songbird brain. Among those cell types, inhibitory interneurons contribute to neural circuit functions. They do not only enable communication between different classes of neurons but have recently been implicated in guiding tutor song memorisation. With a strong background in behavioural genetics and transcriptomics it is my aim to target local interneuron populations in brain areas of songbirds. My approach exploits various viral vectors and constructs causing interneurons to become susceptible for optical manipulation with light of specific wavelengths. By activating or deactivating interneurons in zebra finches during different learning stages I plan to interfere with the song learning process. This will help us to comprehend the role of interneurons during song learning and vocal communication in general.
2019 – present Postdoc, Vallentin-Lab, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology.
2013 Field assistant, Max Planck-Institute for Ornithology, Seewiesen.
2012 Lab internship, Max Planck-Institute for Ornithology, Seewiesen.
2012 Internship, Natural History Museum, Stuttgart.
2010 Lab internship, Max Planck-Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen.
2014 – 2018 PhD student, Language in Interaction Research Consortium, Leiden University, Max Planck-Institute for Psycholinguistics, the Netherlands.
Supervisors: Carel ten Cate, Katharina Riebel, Simon Fisher, Constance Scharff.
2011 – 2014 M. Sc. in Biology, University of Hohenheim, Germany.
2008 – 2011 B. Sc. in Biology, University of Tübingen, Germany.