Mayack Christopher

Mayack Christopher Country: Turkey
Laboratory webpage

Participation in Working Groups

  • WG4 - Mechanobiological principles of rare and common diseases

Research Interests

I am an integrative biologist interested in using a systems biology approach to improve honey bee health. In addition, I study the effects of pathogens and parasites on bee physiology and behavior to understand the current bee declines. I also use the honey bee as a model organism to study questions related to animal behavior, physiology, and neurobiology with a particular interest in metabolic homeostasis and the metabolic factors involved in the evolution of social behavior. In relation to this COST action I am interested in studying the role of synaptic pruning and remodeling as it relates to learning, memory, and aging in the honey bee. We know that as an individual ages there are critical periods in which the brain undergoes a dramatic growth of synaptic connections that correlates with cognitive abilities for performing certain tasks, however it is hypothesized that over time these connections are pruned to increase the efficiency of the relevant tasks that are needed over time. In addition, synaptic pruning is thought to play a role in the cognitive decline of aging individuals. I am interested in pursuing these areas by manipulating synaptic pruning levels in the honey bee brain using RNAi, documenting the effects on synaptic connections with immunohistochemstry techniques and then studying its effect on learning and memory, in vivo, using the honey bee as a model organism.

Technologies offered to other EuroCellNet participants

I have a moelcular biology laboratory with access and expertise with molecular tools, such as PCR, qPCR, sequencing, western blotting and RNAi. In addition, we have a honey bee cell line which can be used for in vitro work and we are currently almost finished developing a CRISPR-cas9 system with a viral vector for gene editing in the honey bee. We have access to a confocal and flourescent scopes for immunohistochemistry techniques. We have on campus 10 bee hives along with the equipment needed for laboratory in vivo work. I have expertise in performing learning and memory behavioral assays with honey bee individuals in the field and the lab. I have experience with honey bee molecular disease screening methods. We have an HPLC-ECD setup in my lab tailored for neurotransmitter biogenic amine quantification. I have expertise in GC-MS for measuring sugars as well from small volume samples and have been involved with metabolomic, transcriptomic and exposomic analyses of honey bees.

Technologies sought from other EuroCellNet participants

We are seeking expertise in neural anatomy to help with the immunohistochemistry staining analyses along with immunohistochemistry techniques to aid in the staining of the honey bee brain. A micro-injeciton setup and micro-injection techniques for perofrming neural injections into the honey bee brain would also be beneifical. We are seeking collaborators for training in these more technical aspects of the project idea.


2020: Borofsky, T+., Barranca, V.J., Zhou, R.+, von Trentini, D., Broadrup, R.L., and Mayack, C. Hive minded: like neurons, honey bees collectively integrate negative feedback to regulate decisions. Animal Behaviour

2019: Mayack, C., Phalen, N.+, Carmichael, K.+, White, H. K., Hirche, F., Wang, Y., Stangl, G. I., and Amdam, G. Appetite is linked to octopamine and hemolymph sugar levels in forager honey bees. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, Neuroethology, sensory, neural, and behavioral physiology. 205 (4), 609-617, doi:10.1007/s00359-019-01352-2

2015: Mayack, C., Natsopoulou, M., McMahon, D. A honeybee hormonal stress pathway elicited by Nosema ceranae infection. Insect Molecular Biology. 24 (6), 662-670.

2015: Mayack, C. and Naug, D. Starving honeybees lose self-control. Biology Letters. 11 (1), 20140820

2011: Mayack, C. and Naug, D. A changing but not an absolute energy budget dictates risk-sensitive behaviour in the honeybee. Animal Behaviour. 82, 595-600.


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