Maria de la paz Fernandez

María de la Paz Fernández

Assistant Professor of Neuroscience


Neuroscience & Behavior


415H-1 Milbank Hall


B.Sc. in Biotechnology. Universidad de Quilmes (Argentina)

Ph.D., Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina)

Postdoctoral Fellow,  Neurobiology Department, Harvard Medical School

- Sleep/Wake Cycles

- Sexual Dimorphism in Behavior

- Aggression and Territoriality

Pandolfi M, Scaia MF and Fernández MP. Sexual Dimorphism in Aggression: Sex-Specific Fighting Strategies Across Species. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience (in press).

Kostadinov B, Pettibone HL, Bell EV, Zhou X, Pranevicius A, Shafer OT and Fernández MP* (2021). Open-Source Computational Framework for Studying Drosophila Behavioral Phase. Star Protocols 2 (1).

Legros, J, Tang G, Gautrais J, Fernández MP and Trannoy S (2021). Long-term dietary restriction leads to development of alternative fighting strategies. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 14:166.

Monyak RE, Golbari NM, Chan Y-B, Pranevicius A,Tang G, Fernandez MP, and Kravitz EA (2021). Masculinized Drosophila females adapt their fighting strategies to their opponent. Journal of Experimental Biology. DOI:10.1242/jeb.238006

Fernández MP*, Pettibone HL, Bogart J, Roell CJ, Davey CE, Pranevicius A, Huynh KV, Lennox SM, Kostadinov BS and Shafer OT*. (2020). Sites of Circadian Clock Neuron Plasticity Mediate Sensory Integration and Entrainment. Current Biology 30, 1-13.

  • Comment in: Rouyer F and Chatterjee A (2020). Circadian Clocks: Structural Plasticity from the Input Side. Current Biology 30: R871-R876.

Jois S, Chan Y-B, Fernández MP and Leung A K-W. (2018). Characterization of the sexually dimorphic Fruitless neurons that regulate copulation duration. Frontiers in Physiology 9:780. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.00780.

Kravitz EA* and Fernández MP* (2015). Aggression in Drosophila. Behavioral Neuroscience 129(5):549-563.         

Alekseyenko OV, Chan YB, Fernández MP, Bülow T, Pankratz MJ, Kravitz EA (2014). Single Serotonergic Neurons that Modulate Aggression in Drosophila. Current Biology 24:2700-7.

Andrews JC, Fernández MP, Yu Q, Leary GP, Leung AK, Kavanaugh MP, Kravitz EA, Certel SJ (2014). Octopamine neuromodulation regulates gr32a-linked aggression and courtship pathways in Drosophila males. PLoS Genetics 10(5):e1004356.

Fernández MP* and Kravitz EA (2013). Aggression and courtship in Drosophila: pheromonal communication and sex recognition. Journal of Comparative Physiology. 199:1065-76

Fernández MP*, Chan YB, Yew JY, Billeter J-C, Dreisewerd K, Levine JD and Kravitz EA (2010). Pheromonal and Behavioral Cues Trigger Male-to-Female Aggression in Drosophila. PLoS Biology 8(11): e1000541.

Rezával C, Berni J, Gorostiza EA, Werbajh S, Fagilde MM, Fernández MP, Beckwith EJ, Aranovich EJ, Sabio y García CA and Ceriani MF (2008). A functional misexpression screen uncovers a role for enabled in progressive neurodegeneration. PLoS One 3: e3332

Fernández MP, Berni J and Ceriani MF (2008). Circadian remodeling of neuronal circuits involved in rhythmic behavior. PLoS Biology 6 (3):69

Berni J, Beckwith EJ, Fernández MP and Ceriani MF (2008). The axon-guidance roundabout gene alters the pace of the Drosophila circadian clock. European Journal of Neuroscience 27: 396-407

Stoleru D, Nawathean P, Fernández MP, Menet JS, Ceriani MF and Rosbash M (2007). The Drosophila circadian network is a seasonal timer. Cell 129: 207-219.

Fernández MP, Chu J, Villella A, Atkinson N, Kay SA and Ceriani MF (2007). Impaired clock output by altered connectivity in the circadian network. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 104: 5650-5655

Bekinschtein T, Negro, A, Goldin A, Fernández MP, Rosenbaum S and D.A. Golombek (2004). Seasonality in a native Mapuche population. Biological Rhythms Research 35: 145-152.


*Corresponding or co-corresponding authors.

Society for Neuroscience (SfN)

International Society for Neuroethology (ISN)

Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (SRBR)

  • MINDS Fellow (2020)
  • Harvard University Distinction in Teaching Award  (2012 and 2011), Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning
  • Young Investigator Award  (2010), International Society for Neuroethology
  • Alice and Joseph Brooks Fund Award Postdoctoral Fellowship (2009)Harvard Medical School
  • Pew Postdoctoral Fellow (2008)Pew Program in the Biomedical Sciences

In The News

In celebration of National Latinx Heritage Month, Barnard asks, “How do you self-identify?” and members of the community share their complex, powerful answers. 

September 16, 2021

Launched in 2014, the ever-growing annual program is a testament to Barnard’s commitment to the sciences.

August 30, 2021

By Prof. María de la Paz Fernández and Prof. Rae Silver

August 9, 2021

From anthropology to neuroscience, Barnard professors were recognized by the American Institute of Architects, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and more.

May 10, 2021