Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Campus Etterbeek, Building G, 4th floor, Room 4G110
Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium

+32 (0)2 629 3410

Sunita has focused her PhD on chemical communication systems in amphibians. To fully understand how and why animals use chemical signals, she used an integrative approach by combining techniques of behavioral modeling, bioassay design, proteomics, transcriptomics, comparative genomics and phylogenetics. As a starting postdoctoral researcher, she has redirected her focus towards the mammal family of Canidae (dogs and relatives), using her expertise to investigate chemical signals involved in social status and individual preferences in dogs. Her main goal is to shed light on the natural communication of canids, and to reveal how this evolved in response to artificial selection and changing social structures.

Janssenswillen Sunita and Bossuyt Franky. 2016. Male Courtship Pheromones induce Cloacal Gaping in Female Newts (Salamandridae).  PLoS ONE 11(1), e0144985.

Van Bocxlaer Ines, Maex Margo, Treer Dag, Janssenswillen Sunita, Janssens Rik, Vandebergh Wim, Proost Paul, Bossuyt Franky. 2016. Beyond Sodefrin: Evidence for a Multi-component Pheromone System in the model newt Cynops pyrrhogaster (Salamandridae). Scientific reports, in press SREP-15-26609A.

Janssenswillen Sunita, Vandebergh Wim, Treer Dag, Willaert Bert, Maex Margo, Van Boxclaer Ines, Bossuyt Franky. 2015. Origin and Diversification of a Salamander Sex Pheromone System. Molecular Biology and Evolution 32(2), 472-480.

Janssenswillen Sunita, Willaert Bert, Treer Dag, Vandebergh Wim, Bossuyt Franky, Van Boxclaer Ines. 2015. High Pheromone Diversity in the Cheek Gland of the Red-spotted Newt Notophthalmus viridescens. BMC Evolutionary Biology 15(1), 54.

Willaert Bert*, Bossuyt Franky*, Janssenswillen Sunita*, Adriaens Dominique, Baggerman Geert, Matthijs Severine, Pauwels Elin, Proost Paul, Raepsaet Arent, Roelants Kim, Schoofs Liliane, Stegen Gwij, Treer Dag, Van Hoorebeke Luc, Vandebergh Wim, Van Bocxlaer Ines. 2014. Frog Nuptial Pads secrete Mating Season-Specific Proteins related to Salamander Pheromones. Journal of Experimental Biology 216(22), 4139-4144. *contributed equally.