Daniel Fabian

research interests:

My research interests are mainly directed towards understanding the genetic architecture of longevity and explaining the huge diversity in life spans found within and between species. How strong is the environmental impact on life span and its companion ageing? Why did evolution lead to the development of organisms that are extremely long or short lived? How is genetic variation in longevity maintained in nature? Molecular pathways regulating longevity are very pleiotropic, which results in trade-offs with other traits. It is therefore important to observe the complete life history of an organism in order to fully understand the genetic and physiological basis of ageing.

Using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism, I am going to examine variation in several life history characters, such as life span and fecundity, among lines originating from a) different altitudes and b) different latitudes. The acquired results from phenotypic assays will be used to perform genome-wide association studies. Identified polymorphisms in candidate genes connected to a specific phenotype will be functionally observed by creating transgenic flies. Because of the strong evolutionary conservation of ageing, my research will possibly also deliver interesting insights into human gerontology.