McMicken College of Arts & SciencesMcMicken College of Arts & SciencesUniversity of Cincinnati

McMicken College of Arts & Sciences

Biological Sciences

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Stephanie M. Rollmann

Title: Associate Professor
Office: 800D Rieveschl Hall
Tel: 513-556-9729


  • B.S., University of California, Davis, CA, 1993 (Zoology).
  • M.S., University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 1996 (Ecology and Evolution).
  • Ph.D., University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2000 (Ecology and Evolution).

Research Information

Research Interests

Behaviors are complex traits influenced by many interacting genes and sensitive to the environment. My research focuses on understanding the genetic basis of behavior by combining behavioral genetic, molecular genetic and genomic approaches. In particular, my research centers on the following critical questions:

-- What are the genes that shape the behavior?
-- How do ensembles of genes act together to give rise to the behavioral phenotype?
-- To what extent do polymorphisms in these genes account for phenotypic variation in natural populations?

To address these questions we study chemosensory behavior, particularly olfactory behavior, in Drosophila melanogaster and in the desert dwelling drosophilid, Drosophila mojavensis.

Drosophila melanogaster is an excellent model system for examining the genetic architecture of chemosensory behavior as it is readily amenable to genetic, neuroanatomical and behavioral analyses. Currently, we have been using a combination of behavioral, molecular genetic and genomic approaches to: (1) identify novel genes that mediate chemosensory behavior, (2) examine the relationship between chemosensory behavior and life history traits, such as longevity and starvation resistance, and (3) investigate the nature and pattern of molecular polymorphisms in olfactory receptor genes that contribute to variation in behavioral responses in nature. The ability to integrate these approaches in this system provides us with exciting opportunities to gain new insights into the genetic architecture and evolution of behavior.

We are also interested in the proximate mechanisms underlying divergence of behavior as a result of local adaptation to different environments. Here, we examine olfaction in the cactophilic fly, D. mojavensis, a model of incipient speciation. D. mojavensis feeds and breeds on different cacti across the southwestern United States and Mexico. Our work focuses on understanding the genetic and neural factors underlying phenotypic divergence in this system. More specifically, we examine variation in the olfaction system and in behavior that accompany adaptation to different ecological environments.


Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Pfluger, P. T., D. G. Kabra, M. Aichler, S. C. Schriever, K. Pfuhlmann, V. C. García, M. Lehti, J. Weber, M. Kutschke, J. Rozman, J. W. Elrod, A. L. Hevener, A. Feuchtinger, M. Hrabě de Angelis, A. Walch, S. M. Rollmann, B. J. Aronow, T. D. Müller, D. Perez-Tilve, M. Jastroch, M. De Luca, J. D. Molkentin, M. H. Tschöp. 2015. Calcineurin links mitochondrial elongation with energy metabolism. Cell Metabolism 22:1-13.
  • Huang W., Massouras A., Inoue Y., Peiffer J., Ràmia M., Tarone A. M., Turlapati L., Zichner T., Zhu D., Lyman R. F., Magwire M. M., Blankenburg K., Carbone M. A., Chang K., Ellis L. L., Fernandez S., Han Y., Highnam G., Hjelmen C. E., Jack J. R., Javaid M., Jayaseelan J., Kalra D., Lee S., Lewis L., Munidasa M., Ongeri F., Patel S., Perales L., Perez A., Pu L., Rollmann S. M., Ruth R., Saada N., Warner C., Williams A., Wu Y. Q., Yamamoto A., Zhang Y., Zhu Y., Anholt R. R., Korbel J. O., Mittelman D., Muzny D. M., Gibbs R. A., Barbadilla A., Johnston J. S., Stone E. A., Richards S., Deplancke B., and Mackay T. F. 2014. Natural variation in genome architecture among 205 Drosophila melanogaster Genetic Reference Panel lines. Genome Research 24(7):1193-1208.
  • Brown, E., J. E. Layne, C. Zhu, A. G. Jegga, and S. M. Rollmann. 2013. Genome-wide association mapping of natural variation in odor-guided behavior in Drosophila. Genes Brain and Behavior. 12:503-515.
  • Date, P., H. K. M. Dweck, M. C. Stensmyr, J. Shann, B. S. Hansson, and S. M. Rollmann. 2013. Divergence in olfactory host plant preference in D. mojavensis in response to cactus host use. PLoS One 8:e70027.
  • Luebbering N., Charlton-Perkins M., Kumar J. P., Rollmann S. M., Cook T., and V. Cleghon. 2013. Drosophila dyrk2 plays a role in the development of the visual system. PLoS One. 8:e76775.
  • Mackay, T. F. C. S. Richards, E. Stone, A. Barbadilla, J. Ayroles, D. Zhu, S. Casillas, Y. Han, M. Magwire, J. Cridland, M. Richardson, R. Anholt, M. Barrón, C. Warner, Kerstin P. Blankenburg, M. Carbone, D. Castellano Esteve, L. Chaboub, L. Duncan, T. Harris, M. Javaid, J. Christina Jayaseelan, S. Jhangiani, K. Jordan, F. Lara-Garduno, F. Lawrence, Sa. Lee, P. Librado, R. Linheiro, R. Lyman, A. Mackey, M.a Munidasa, D. Muzny, L. Nazareth, I. Newsham, L. Perales, L. Pu, J. Qu, M. Ràmia, J. Reid, S. Rollmann, J. Rozas, N. Saada, L. Turlapati, K. Worley, Y. Wu, A. Yamamoto, Y. Zhu, C. Bergman, K. Thornton, D. Mittelman, R. Gibbs. 2012.The Drosophila melanogaster Genetic Reference Panel. Nature. 482:173-178.
  • Jones, A. R., T. R. Bell-Horwath, G. Li, S. M. Rollmann1, and E. J. Merino. (2012) Novel Oxidatively Activated Agents Modify DNA and are Enhanced by Ercc1 Silencing.(1co-corresponding author) Chemical Research in Toxicology. 25:2542-2552.
  • Richgels, P. K. and S.M. Rollmann.  2012 (Epub2011). Genetic variation in odorant receptor contributes to variation in olfactory behavior in a natural population of Drosophila melanogaster. Chemical Senses37:229-240.
  • Rajkumar, Premraj, Rollmann, Stephanie M, Cook, Tiffany A, & Layne, John E (2010). Molecular evidence for color discrimination in the Atlantic sand fiddler crab, Uca pugilator. The Journal of experimental biology, 213(Pt 24), 4240-8.
  • Rollmann, Stephanie M, Wang, Ping, Date, Priya, West, Steven A, Mackay, Trudy F C, & Anholt, Robert R H (2010). Odorant receptor polymorphisms and natural variation in olfactory behavior in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics, 186(2), 687-97.
  • Ayroles, Julien F, Carbone, Mary Anna, Stone, Eric A, Jordan, Katherine W, Lyman, Richard F, Magwire, Michael M, Rollmann, Stephanie M, Duncan, Laura H, Lawrence, Faye, Anholt, Robert R H, & Mackay, Trudy F C (2009). Systems genetics of complex traits in Drosophila melanogaster. Nature genetics, 41(3), 299-307.
  • Rollmann, Stephanie M, Zwarts, Liesbeth, Edwards, Alexis C, Yamamoto, Akihiko, Callaerts, Patrick, Norga, Koenraad, Mackay, Trudy F C, & Anholt, Robert R H (2008). Pleiotropic effects of Drosophila neuralized on complex behaviors and brain structure. Genetics, 179(3), 1327-36.
  • Rollmann, Stephanie M, Yamamoto, Akihiko, Goossens, Tim, Zwarts, Liesbeth, Callaerts-Végh, Zsuzsanna, Callaerts, Patrick, Norga, Koenraad, Mackay, Trudy F C, & Anholt, Robert R H (2007). The early developmental gene Semaphorin 5c contributes to olfactory behavior in adult Drosophila. Genetics, 176(2), 947-56.
  • Edwards, Alexis C, Rollmann, Stephanie M, Morgan, Theodore J, & Mackay, Trudy F C (2006). Quantitative genomics of aggressive behavior in Drosophila melanogaster. PLoS genetics, 2(9), e154.
  • Rollmann, Stephanie M, Magwire, Michael M, Morgan, Theodore J, Ozsoy, Ergi D, Yamamoto, Akihiko, Mackay, Trudy F C, & Anholt, Robert R H (2006). Pleiotropic fitness effects of the Tre1-Gr5a region in Drosophila melanogaster. Nature genetics, 38(7), 824-9.
  • Mackay, Trudy F C, Heinsohn, Stefanie L, Lyman, Richard F, Moehring, Amanda J, Morgan, Theodore J, & Rollmann, Stephanie M (2005). Genetics and genomics of Drosophila mating behavior. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 102 Suppl 1, 6622-9.
  • Rollmann, Stephanie M, Mackay, Trudy F C, & Anholt, Robert R H (2005). Pinocchio, a novel protein expressed in the antenna, contributes to olfactory behavior in Drosophila melanogaster. Journal of neurobiology, 63(2), 146-58.
  • Watts, Richard A, Palmer, Catherine A, Feldhoff, Richard C, Feldhoff, Pamela W, Houck, Lynne D, Jones, Adam G, Pfrender, Michael E, Rollmann, Stephanie M, & Arnold, Stevan J (2004). Stabilizing selection on behavior and morphology masks positive selection on the signal in a salamander pheromone signaling complex. Molecular biology and evolution, 21(6), 1032-41.
  • Rollmann, S. M., Houck, L.D., & Feldhoff, R.C. (2003). Conspecific and heterospecific pheromone effects on female receptivity. Animal Behaviour (66), 857-861.
  • Anholt, Robert R H, Dilda, Christy L, Chang, Sherman, Fanara, Juan-José, Kulkarni, Nalini H, Ganguly, Indrani, Rollmann, Stephanie M, Kamdar, Kim P, & Mackay, Trudy F C (2003). The genetic architecture of odor-guided behavior in Drosophila: epistasis and the transcriptome. Nature genetics, 35(2), 180-4.
  • Fanara, Juan José, Robinson, Kellie O, Rollmann, Stephanie M, Anholt, Robert R H, & Mackay, Trudy F C (2002). Vanaso is a candidate quantitative trait gene for Drosophila olfactory behavior. Genetics, 162(3), 1321-8.
  • Anholt, R. R. H., Fanara, J. J., Fedorowicz, G. M., Ganguly, I., Kulkarni, N. H., Mackay, T. F. C., Rollmann, S. M. (2001). Functional genomics of odor-guided behavior in Drosophila melanogaster. Chemical Senses, 26(2), 215, 221.
  • Rollmann, S. M., Houck, L. D., Feldhoff, R. C. (2000). Population variation in salamander courtship pheromones. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 26(12), 2713, 2724.
  • Rollmann, S M, Houck, L D, & Feldhoff, R C (1999). Proteinaceous pheromone affecting female receptivity in a terrestrial salamander. Science (New York, N.Y.), 285(5435), 1907-9.
  • Crowley-Gall, A., P. Date, C. Han, N. Rhodes, P. Andolfatto, J. E. Layne, and S. M. Rollmann. (2016). Population differences in olfaction accompany host shift in Drosophila mojavensis. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 283: 20161562.
  • Feldhoff, R. C., S. M. Rollmann, and L. D. Houck.  (1999)  Chemical analyses of courtship pheromones in a plethodontid salamander.  In: Advances in chemical communication in vertebrates.  R. E. Johnston, D. Muller-Schwarze and P. Sorensen (Eds.).  Plenum Press, New York. Vol 8, 117-125.

Honors & Awards

  • Sigma Xi Young Investigator Award, 2012.
  • Blue Hydra Award, Recognition for Outstanding Service to Graduate Students, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cincinnati, 2013.