Travels with my grant

29 April 2017 - By: Cheng-Yu Li

Travels with my grant - Cheng-Yu Li

Cheng-Yu Li

Grant recipient: Cheng –Yu  Li (University of Alabama, USA)

Travelled to: Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Meeting, Montreal, Canada


This year, the SBN scheduled six symposia, namely ‘Neuroimmune interactions across endocrine milestones’, ‘What should behavioral neuroendocrinologists be telling breast oncologists about estrogens and the brain?’, ‘Neuroendocrinology of dynamic social behavior’, ‘New investigator symposium’, ‘The influences of environment changes on social behavior, endocrine status and reproductive system’ and ‘Critical periods: assimilating animal and human data’.” Each symposium was hosted by five outstanding scientists who shared their new findings in their area. I participated in all six Symposia and joined the Award Poster competition. In all these fantastic talks, ‘Neuroendocrinology of dynamic social behavior’ was one of my favorites. Speakers in this symposium not only focused on the neural mechanisms, but also extended their findings to link with some ecologically relevant issues. Dr Hans A. Hofmann, from the University of Texas at Austin, talked about his research investigating the mechanisms underlying social decision-making, particularly in testing ‘dear enemy theory,’ using the African cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni, as a model system. As well as temperature-induced sex change, I am also interested in the effect of previous social fighting experience on individuals’ future aggression and learning abilities; Dr Hofmann’s talk was a great example of integrating neuroendocrinology and ecology.

In the poster session, I received a lot of valuable comments and suggestions on my current studies. I was lucky to get the opportunity to discuss my poster with the new president of SBN, Dr Rae Silver. Though her work mainly focuses on homeostasis and circadian rhythms in mammals, she gave me many valuable opinions on my research. She also introduced me to her colleague who has expertise in temperature-dependent sex change and sex determination. Finally, she encouraged me to keep working on integrative biology, because she agreed that we may need more people to integrate this information from different areas. I greatly appreciate the SEB and Company of Biologists for awarding me this travel grant to attend this conference.

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Category: Animal Biology