Laura Fritschi

Master Student in the group of Prof. Walter Salzburger and Prof. Alex Schier

Current Research

Sleep is ubiquitous and highly conserved in vertebrates, but exceedingly variable in length and rhythmicity across and within species. Some species have developed the ability to shift the phase of their circadian rhythm, and to modulate the duration of the activity as far as resulting in complete loss of rhythmicity (e.g. Mexican cavefish (Astyanax mexicanus)). A striking example of a circadian activity switching species is the golden spiny mouse (Acomys russatus). They are diurnal when observed in the field, whereas they are nocturnal under controlled conditions in the laboratory. Similar phenomena have been observed in the previous experiments that measure and document activity patterns of cichlids from Lake Tanganyika.

In my current project I will study the variation of activity patterns both across and within cichlid species to identify potential masking factors and environmental cues that are responsible for the switch in phase of the circadian activity. Furthermore, I will compare their sleeping behaviour in the field, under semi-natural conditions and in a reductionist set-up.

Curriculum Vitae

2022 -Master Student at the Zoological Institute, University of Basel
2018 - 2021 B.Sc. in Biology, Major in Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Basel
Laura Fritschi