|Senior Research Fellow|
Ph.D. University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland
The chemical senses are crucial to the survival of most insects. How are olfactory and gustatory systems adapted to the chemical environment that a particular species finds itself in? How do chemical stimuli drive resource-oriented behaviors? Answering these questions will help us understand how pest insects find us and our crops as well as provide insight into fundamental coding properties of our own brain.
The combination of detailed physiological analysis and powerful genetic techniques allows us to study the cellular mechanisms of odor detection as well as compare odor coding across species. For instance, carbon dioxide is a chemical stimulus that perceived by a single neuron class in many insect species. In Drosophila we can manipulate these neurons genetically.