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Dr Marta Costa

Dr Marta Costa

Senior Research Associate

Project Team Leader - Drosophila Connectomics group

Research Associate, Lucy Cavendish College

Room 316, Austin Building
Department of Zoology
Downing Street
Cambridge, CB2 3EJ UK

Office Phone: 01223 (3)34455


I am the Project Team Leader for the Drosophila  Connectomics group, started in October 2016. The project aims to build the adult olfactory connectome of Drosophila, that is, to describe the neurons involved in innate and learned olfactory behaviour, and its connections to other neurons. We are part of a consortium of groups in Cambridge (Jefferis, Landgraf), Oxford (Waddell) and Janelia Research Campus (Rubin, Bock) that are doing this, using a whole brain EM volume generated at Janelia by Davi Bock's group (Zheng et al., 2017). For more detail on our research, see our group page.

I have also been a part of the Virtual Fly Brain project - the neuroinformatic hub for Drosophila neuroscience information - since 2011, working on data curation and image analysis, and now as a Co-Investigator.


  • Neuroanatomy
  • Image Visualisation
  • Electon Microscopy
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • computational neuroanatomy
  • Imaging technologies

Key Publications

P Schlegel (1), M Costa (1), GSXE Jefferis (2017) Learning from Connectomics on the fly, Current Opinion in Insect Science, 24:96–105

E Marin & M Costa (2017) Sensory Neurobiology: Wet Fly Fishing, Current Biology, 27:R833–R852

Costa, M., A.D., Manton, Ostrovsky, J.D., Prohaska, S. and Jefferis, G.S.X.E. (2016).NBLAST: Rapid, sensitive comparison of neuronal structure and construction of neuron family databases. Neuron, 91(2), 293-311

Manton, J.D., Ostrovsky, A.D., Goetz, L., Costa, M., Rohlfing, T., and Jefferis, G.S.X.E. (2014).Combining genome-scale Drosophila 3D neuroanatomical data by bridging template brains. biorxiv

Costa, M., Calleja, M., Alonso, C. R. and Simpson, P. (2013). The bristle patterning genes hairy and extramacrochaetae regulate the development of structures required for flight in Diptera.Dev. Biol. 1–11.

Costa M., Reeve S., Grumbling G., Osumi-Sutherland D. (2013). The Drosophila anatomy ontology. Journal of Biomedical Semantics 4 (32).


Other Publications