Songbird Affinity Group

Mission and Goals:

For the past several years, the members of Art Arnold’s, Barney Schlinger’s and Stephanie White’s laboratories have met on the first Monday of each month to present and discuss data on birdsong research in the broad areas of behavioral neuroendocrinology and neuroethology. Additionally, Dr. Bill Grisham from Psychology, a lecturer here at UCLA, and his undergraduate SRP students attend. Each laboratory investigates key neurobiological questions that can best be addressed by study of songbirds. In particular, the Arnold lab investigates sex differences in the brain, the Schlinger lab focuses on neurosteriods, including neuroprotection, while the White lab investigates the neural basis of vocal learning. While our foci differ, our broad interests and technological approaches share significant overlap, based on the fact that we each use birds for our research. More recently, Dr. Melissa Coleman, another birdsong researcher at the Claremont Colleges and her lab members attend. Her lab is interested in thalamo-cortical connections that subserve auditory selectivity. Through these meetings, our trainees gain important practice in presenting and commenting on primary data. During the discussions, we forge intellectual and technical bridges that quicken the pace of research progress. Moreover, research collaborations are fostered, and the potential for recruitment of graduate students from community colleges is enhanced.

Through these meetings, our trainees gain important practice in presenting and commenting on primary data. During the discussions, we forge intellectual and technical bridges that quicken the pace of research progress. Costs of conducting research are defrayed as we find opportunities for sharing equipment and reagents. Experimental protocols are vetted and streamlined. Research collaborations are fostered, leading to collaborative publications important for obtaining and retaining training grants, such as that for the Laboratory for Neuroendocrinology. Further, with the participation of Dr. Coleman from the Claremont Colleges, the potential for recruitment of graduate students from community colleges as well as from UCLA undergrads is enhanced.

Affinity Group Participants:

Meetings are held over the lunch hour in Botany 328. This timing ensures good attendance and there are usually more than 20 participants. Undergraduates, graduates, postdoctoral fellows, professors and staff members participate as follows:

Arnold Lab:

Professor Art Arnold, Ph.D. (Physiological Science and NS-IDP)

Xuqi Chen, Research Associate

Bill Grisham, (Psychology) lecturer

Yuichiro Ito, Postdoc

Kathy Kampf, Senior Research Assistant

Deepthi Sudhakar (Master’s student, Phy Sci)

Rebecca Watkins, Research Assistant and several undergraduates.

Schlinger Lab:

Professor Barney Schlinger (Physiological Science and NS-IDP)

Sarah Cho (Phy Sci Undergrad)

Andrew Chow (EEB Undergrad)

Jenny Feng, Research Technician

Amnon Katz, Postdoc

Anahid Mirzatoni (Graduate Student MCIP IDP)

Luke Remage-Healy, Postdoc

Nicole Remy (Biochem Undergrad)

Rory Spence (Graduate Student MCIP IDP)

White Lab:

Associate Professor Stephanie White (Physiological Science and NS-IDP)

Mike Condro (Graduate Student MCIP-IDP)

Ryan Dosumu-Johnson (NS-IDP Undergrad)

Ellen Fitzmorris (NS-IDP Undergrad)

Austin Hilliard (Graduate Student NS-IDP)

Julie Miller, Postdoc

Donald Noble (Technician former UCLA NS-IDP undergrad)

Carmen Panaitof, Postdoc

Elizabeth Wong (Master’s Student Phy Sci)

Coleman Lab:

Assistant Professor Melissa Coleman (Neuroscience)

2-3 Claremont College Neuroscience majors.

How to Join

Stephanie A. White, Ph.D
Associate Professor, Department of Physiological Science
2353 Life Science Building
Mail Code: 160606
Phone: 310-794-1888; Fax: 310-206-9184
Email: sawhite@ucla.edu