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Dr Darron Cullen

Dr Darron Cullen

Visiting Researcher

Office Phone: 01223 (3)36640


I previously undertook postdoctoral research here in the Department of Zoology (2011-14), working on locust behaviour and biomechanics with Dr. Swidi Ott (now at Leicester), Dr. Steve Rogers and Prof. Malcolm Burrows. Since 2014 I have continued my work on locusts at KU Leuven, Belgium, with Prof. Jozef Vanden Broeck. I was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship by the Research Foundation, Flanders (FWO) in 2015 and, more recently, a travel grant for a year-long stay back in Cambridge. This year I will continue to investigate several aspects of locust and cricket biomechanics and behaviour, kindly hosted by Dr. Berthold Hedwig.

Research Interests

I use simple molecular methods, particularly RNA interference, to investigate insect behaviour, biomechanics and physiology.

Key Publications

Cullen DA, Cease A, Latchininsky AV, Ayali A, Berry K, Buhl J, De Keyser R, Foquet B, Hadrich JC, Matheson T, Ott SR, Poot-Pech MA, Robinson BE, Smith JM, Song H, Sword GA, Vanden Broeck J, Verdonck R, Verlinden H, Rogers SM (2017). From molecules to management: mechanisms and consequences of locust phase polyphenism. Advances in Insect Physiology 53, 167-285.

Rose J, Cullen DA, Simpson SJ, Stevenson PA (2017). Born to win or bred to lose: aggressive and submissive traits in crickets. Animal Behaviour 123, 441-450.

Burrows M, Cullen DA, Dorosenko M, Sutton GP (2015). Mantises exchange angular momentum between three rotating body parts to jump precisely to targets. Current Biology 25, 786-789. This paper received considerable attention in the popular press, e.g.

Rogers SM, Cullen DA, Anstey ML, Burrows M, Despland E, Dodgson T, Matheson T, Ott SR, Stettin K, Sword GA, Simpson SJ (2014). Rapid behavioural gregarization in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria entails synchronous changes in both activity and attraction to conspecifics. Journal of Insect Physiology 65, 9-26.

Cullen DA, Sword GA, Simpson SJ (2012). Optimizing multivariate behavioural syndrome models in locusts using automated video tracking. Animal Behaviour 84, 771-784.

Cullen DA (2012). RNAi unravels the biology of the hemimetabolous and ametabolous insects. Advances in Insect Physiology 42, 37-72.

Cullen DA, Sword GA, Dodgson T, Simpson SJ (2010). Behavioural phase change in the Australian plague locust, Chortoicetes terminifera, is triggered by tactile stimulation of the antennae. Journal of Insect Physiology 56, 937-942.