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[Bioinformatics Project] Quantification of C. elegans motor behaviour throughout development

Primary supervisor



  • Dr Jie Liu
  • Dr Zhaoyu Li

This project focuses on the locomotion pattern of freely moving animals. The model organism we used is C. elegans, a transparent nematode about 1 mm, which displays a sinusoidal movement on the plates. The locomotor performance of adult worms can be decomposed into four fundamental patterns called eigenworms using principal component analysis, and the locomotion of freely moving worms exploring the environment is represented as a linear combination of these four patterns (Ref: and  ). Using a commercial system, Wormlab, we successfully tracked the locomotion in different developmental stages in male and female animals after hatch. Further quantitative characterization on different locomotion parameter, including locomotion speed, reversal rate and bending angle, will allow us to precisely evaluate the animal's locomotion and the effect of distinctive environmental cues in animals locomotion. 

For more information, contact the primary supervisor Dr. Jie Liu <>

Student cohort

Single Semester


Investigate the locomotion pattern of C. elegans during development

Required knowledge

  • Python
  • Matlab