Photo of Dr Sarah Roberts

Dr Sarah Roberts BSc (hons), MPhil, PhD

Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow ZZ (DO NOT USE) was Evolution, Ecology and Behaviour


Personal Statement

My research interests are focused around the behavioural and biochemical mechanisms of olfactory communication. I address my research questions using the house mouse, Mus domesticus, as a model system. Mammals often utilise soluble binding proteins in chemical communication, both for the delivery of volatile pheromones and in perception of chemical signals. In addition to a number of volatile components, the urine of house mice contains large amounts of highly polymorphic proteins termed the major urinary proteins (MUPs). I was involved in the MUP knockout project investigating the molecular basis of sex recognition, the role of volatiles in sex and individual recognition and the heterogeneity of MUPs. During this project we identified darcin, a male pheromone responsible for stimulating female memory and sexual attraction to an individual male's odour. Following that I was involved in a project addressing mechanisms underlying kin recognition, and the importance of kinship in cooperative breeding between females. I am now involved in a project investigating the use of scent signals to monitor and manipulate rodent behaviour.