The workshop was held at Beit Maiersdorf, The Hebrew University, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel. All talks were held in Mandel auditorium.


The Workshop had three distinct, primary purposes/objectives:

A. To facilitate discussion within and between the groups of experts who focus on insect seminal proteins, sperm and pheromones, on female reproductive tracts, nervous systems, and reproductive behavior with the goal of exchanging information, obtaining collegial input from a variety of perspectives and coordinating investigations and collaborations across questions and organisms.

B. To foster interaction between Israeli and non-Israeli scientists in fields including the reproductive control of insects of relevance to agriculture, or reproductive biology in organisms beyond insects.

C. To share the most up-to-date scientific knowledge, to push the frontiers of knowledge and to provide answers/guidance to current and future challenges we face in field of pest control, specifically, for invasive and emerging pests.

The invited speakers covered diverse basic and applied research fields within reproduction, selected for their unique and complementary research angles. The exchange across interdisciplinary borders allows for new overarching ideas to be developed through cross-fertilization of techniques employed and insights harbored by each field.


Click on the dates below to see the timetable for each day

Until 18:00Arrival and check-in at The Maiersdorf Conference Center Hebrew University Mount Scopus
18:15 – 18:30Welcome and opening remarks – Yael Heifetz, Mariana Wolfner
Mandel Auditorium
18:30 – Opening Lecture-Inspirational
Moderator: Mariana Wolfner & Yael Heifetz
18:35 – 19:50Oded Shoseyov, The Hebrew University, IL
The Plant Age; Materials for the future
20:00 –Dinner
Morning session – Seminal Proteins and Female Fertility
Moderators: Alisa Komsky-Elbaz, Jean-Christophe Billeter
09:05 – 09:40Mariana Wolfner, Cornell University, USA
Blurring the line between “male” and “female” contributions to fertility
09:40 – 10:15Alberto Civetta, The University of Winnipeg, CA
Drosophila seminal fluid genes expression evolution
10:15 – 10:50Mark Wainwright, Oxford University, UK
Regulation of microcarrier form and function in the Drosophila melanogaster male accessory gland
10:50 – 11:20Coffee / Tea Break
11:20 – 11:55Yael Heifetz, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, IL
Extracellular vesicles at the site of sperm storage: a new paradigm in insect female fertility
11:55 – 12:10Catalina Alfonso-Parra, Universidad de Antioquia and Instituto Colombiano de Medicina Tropical, CO
Tissue-specific localization of seminal fluid proteins in the Aedes aegypti female reproductive tract
12:10 – 12:45Ryusuke Niwa, University of Tsukuba, JP
Circulating fructose regulates a germline stem cell increase via gustatory receptor-mediated gut hormone release in mated Drosophila melanogaster
12:45 – 14:45Lunch, Posters and Informal Discussions
Afternoon session – Mating Behaviors
Moderators: Nicolas Doubovetzky, Toshiro Aigaki
14:45 – 15:20Stephen Goodwin, University of Oxford, UK
What genetic signatures define sexually dimorphic neuronal cell types?
15:20 – 15:55Carolina Rezaval, University of Birmingham, UK
To feed or to mate: Conflict mediation in the brain
15:55 – 16:30Matthias Soller, University of Birmingham, UK
Characterizing the neuronal circuitry directing the sex peptide response
16:30 – 16:45Nallasivan Mohanakarthik, University of Birmingham, UK
Sex-peptide induces the post-mating response via distinct CNS neuron
17:00 –Dinner in Even Sapir
Morning session I – Pheromones, Physiology
Moderators: Nallasivan Mohanakarthik, Matthias Soller
09:05 – 09:40Ferveur Jean-François, Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l’Alimentation (CSGA), FR
Plasticity of the emission and perception of the cis-vaccenyl acetate pheromone in Drosophila melanogaster males
09:40 – 9:55Enisa Aruçi, The Centre for Taste and Feeding Behavior, FR
An Odorant-Binding Protein involved in courtship behavior of Drosophila melanogaster
9:55 – 10:10Nicolas Doubovetzky, University of Groningen, NL
Drosophila melanogaster females manipulate sperm allocation based on the sensing of pheromones indicative of male quality
10:10 – 10:25Maxime Revel, University of Geneva, CH
Repression of abd-A expression by CNS-specific 3’UTR elongation of iab-8 lncRNA
10:25 – 10:55Coffee / Tea Break
Morning session II – Strategies to Control Harmful and Agricultural-Pest Insects, and to Assist Beneficial Insects
Moderators: Maxime Revel, Ravi Ram
10:55 – 11:30Alfred Handler, USDA-ARS-CMAVE, USA
Strategies to control male fertility in pest insects by genetic manipulation
11:30 – 12:05Philippos Papathanos, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, IL
Engineering sex chromosomes for genetic control of insect pest
12:05 – 12:40Frank W. Avila, University of Antioquia, CO
Infection by the wMel strain of the bacterium Wolbachia alters female post-mating behaviors and physiology in the vector mosquito Aedes aegypti
12:40 – 14:40Lunch, Posters and Informal Discussions
Afternoon session: Drosophila suzukii – Plasticity is Key to Success
Moderators: Alberto Civetta, Mariana Wolfner
(zoom session open to all – click here for a link)
14:40 – 15:15Marta Pascual, University of Barcelona, ESP
Invasion history of Drosophila suzukii
15:15 – 15:50Bregje Wertheim, University of Groningen, NL
Seasonal reproductive biology of Drosophila suzukii
15:50 – 16:25Nicolas Gompel, Ludwig Maximilian University, DE
Sensing texture during Drosophila oviposition
16:25 – 17:00Omar Akbari, UC San Diego, USA
Engineered population control technologies in the invasive Pest, Drosophila suzukii
17:00 – 17:35Michal Sharon-Cohen, Agricultural Research and Development, Central Mountain Region, IL
A view from the field- raspberry growers versus spotted wing Drosophila in Israel
17:35 – 18:00Discussion
19:00 –Dinner and social activity
Morning session – Behaviors in a Social Context
Moderators: Enisa Aruçi, Carolina Rezaval, Frank Avila
09:05 – 09:40Jean-Christophe Billeter, University of Groningen, NL
Social dimension of egg-laying behavior in Drosophila melanogaster
09:40 – 10:15Tracey Chapman, University of East Anglia, UK
Seminal fluid proteins, plasticity and complexity
10:15 – 10:50Galit Ophir, Bar-Ilan University, IL
Mechanisms shaping the interplay between social interaction and motivation
10:50 – 11:20Coffee / Tea Break
11:20 – 11:55Young-Joon Kim, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, KOR
Reproductive functions of a seminal galactoside in Drosophila melanogaster
11:55 – 12:30Irem Sepil, University of Oxford, UK
Crowded house – how larval development changes ejaculate investment
12:30 – 13:05Ravi Ram, Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, IN
To ‘ERR’ is human: male infertility and reproductive toxicity in Drosophila
13:05 – 15:05Lunch, Poster session and Informal Discussions
Afternoon session: Eggs, Sperm, and Evolution
Moderators: Michael Belenky, Irem Sepil
15:05 – 15:40Eli Arama, Weizmann Institute, IL
The Rise and Fall of a Giant: Structural organization of the Drosophila sperm mitochondria into a giant sphere and its targeted destruction
by an egg-derived cell intruder system
15:40 – 16:15Toshiro Aigaki, Tokyo Metropolitan University, JP
Glucose metabolism during egg activation and early development in Drosophila
16:15 – 16:30Alisa Konsky-Elbaz, The Hebrew University, IL
A paternal carry-over effect of damaged spermatozoa to the preimplantation embryo transcriptome – a lesson from the bovine
16:30 – 17:00Coffee / Tea Break & Final Discussion: Insect reproductive molecules, what is the future?
Moderators: Mariana Wolfner, Yael Heifetz
17:00 –Dinner in Jerusalem
07:00 –Further discussions and Excursion to The Dead & Living Sea


Omar Akbari
UC San Diego, USA

Nicolas Gompel
Ludwig Maximilian University, Germany

Marta Pascual
University of Barcelona, Spain

Michal Sharon-Cohen
Agricultural Research and Development, Central Mountain Region, Israel

Toshiro Aigaki
Tokyo Metropolitan University, Japan

Frank Avila
Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia

Jean-Christophe Billeter
University of Groningen, Netherlands

Tracey Chapman
University of East Anglia, UK

Alberto Civetta
The University of Winnipeg, Canada

Stephen Goodwin
University of Oxford, UK

Yael Heifetz
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Philippos Papathanos
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Ravi Ram
Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, India

Carolina Rezaval
University of Birmingham, UK

Matthias Soller
University of Birmingham, UK

Stuart Wigby
University of Liverpool, UK

Mariana Wolfner
Cornell University, USA

Eli Arama
Weizmann Institute, Israel

Galit Ophir
Bar-Ilan University, Israel 

Jean-François Ferveur
University of Burgundy, France

Alfred Handler

Bregje Wertheim
University of Groningen, Netherlands

Ryusuke Niwa
University of Tsukuba, Japan

Young-Joon Kim
Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology,  South Korea

Irem Sepil
University of Oxford, UK

Mark Wainwright
University of Oxford, UK