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Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)


Biomedical Sciences

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Karl Joplin, Darrell Moore

Committee Members

Thomas Jones, Michelle Duffourc


We have examined potential influences of gender, age, and nutrition on the expression of circadian locomotor activity rhythms in the flesh fly Sarcophaga crassipalpis. We found no significant differences in endogenous circadian period under constant dark conditions resulting from gender, nutrition, or age. Male and female flesh flies were predominantly diurnal under light-dark cycles, but their entrainment patterns differed. Females displayed higher activity levels and increasing activity with age, unlike males. Moreover, females exhibited an extraordinary, but transient, departure from diurnality which we characterize as “extended dark activity” (EDA), a continuous bout of locomotor activity extending three hours, or longer, into the dark phase at twice the median of the individual’s overall locomotor activity. EDA occurred as an age-dependent response to liver consumption. Our results suggest a linkage between physiological events associated with egg provisioning and locomotor activity as well as multiple influences on the expression of circadian clock-regulated behavior.

Document Type

Thesis - restricted


Copyright by the authors.