Miscarriages and trisomic pregnancies dramatically increase in a woman's thirties and onwards, a phenomenon known as the maternal age effect. The Bickel lab aims to understand the factors that contribute to this phenomenon. Autophagic activity declines with age in various tissues and stimulation of autophagy restores cell function in aging cells. My project focusses on the role of autophagy on accurate meiotic chromosome segregation in oocytes using Drosophila melanogaster as a model system. Furthermore, I want to test if dietary supplementation of spermidine, a naturally occurring polyamine known to stimulate autophagy, can suppress age-dependent meiotic chromosome segregation errors in Drosophila oocytes. This may pave the way for future therapeutics improving oocyte quality of women with advanced maternal age.