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Lab Members

Current Lab Members


Dr Berthold Hedwig

Berthold Hedwig:

I am the group leader.

Dr Steve Rogers

Steve Rogers:

I joined the group in October 2017 as a post-doc. I am working on a BBSRC funded project that seeks to understand neural basis of pattern recognition by analysing how neural circuits in the brains of female crickets mediate the recognition of male courtship songs and organise appropriate behavioural responses. Cricket songs, as well as other rhythmic acoustic communication systems consist of periods of sound (‘pulses’) separated by periods of silence (‘intervals’) occurring in a complex but stereotyped pattern. Pattern recognition depends on the nervous system detecting both pulses and interval durations. My work consists of trying to understand how different brain neurons and neural circuits respond to these different individual elements of the calling song and how these are then combined to allow overall pattern recognition. Previously I have worked on the neuroethology of locust phase change at the University of Cambridge, the University of Sydney and Arizona State University.


Andrew Balmer:

I am a recent M. Phil. graduate of the University of Cambridge where I worked with Professor Paul Brakefield on phenotypic plasticity in mycalesine butterflies and have been working as Senior Research Laboratory Technician in the Neurobiology of Acoustic Communication group since October 2017. I am primarily interested in phenotypic plasticity, and the effect of neuropharmacological drugs on cricket phonotaxis behaviour. Alongside these interests I am involved in the general maintenance of the lab and insect

Edith Julieta Sarmiento-Ponce

Edith Julieta Sarmiento-Ponce:

I am in the fourth year of my PhD. I did my undergraduate in Biology in Mexico, and my Master  in Marine Mammal Science at the University of St Andrews. My PhD focuses on understanding the pathways that regulate phonotaxis in female crickets, which I study in the lab using a trackball system and computer generated sound patterns. 

Chu-Cheng Li

Chu-Cheng Lin:

I am from Taiwan and started my PhD in 2016. I have a keen interest in insect behaviour and aim to analyse the command neurons which control singing behaviour in different species of crickets.  Currently I am practicing intracellular recordings in cricket auditory interneurons to work out the mechanism of mutual inhibition in the Omega Neurons ON1 and explore ways for quantitative selection of phonotactic active crickets

Athanasios Ntelezos

Athanasios Ntelezos:

I studied Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Patras, Greece, followed by an MSc in Signal Processing in the University of Strathclyde.  I am currently conducting research on the accuracy of  phonotaxis walking and steering behavior in female crickets using a moving speaker system and also EMG recordings from steering muscles.

Xinyang Zhang

Xinyang Zhang:

I graduated in Beijing and received my MS in Entomology from Texas A&M University. During my studies I became imperceptibly convinced to study neurobiology, especially with electrophysiological techniques for a deeper insight in neuroethology. I started my PhD in 2016 and now I study brain neuron in crickets to reveal the neural circuitry from receiving, recognizing, and processing of acoustic signals to generating the motor commands for phonotactic behaviour. 

Matt Isaacson

Matt Isaacson:

I graduated at the University of Florida with a BSc in Chemical Engineering. I started my PhD in 2014 in Cambridge developing a method for electrophoretic labelling of insect neurons with fluorescent tracers. I am now working in M. Reisers lab at Janelia Farm on visual processing in Drosophila.




Recent Members

Hannah Haberkern 

Hannah Haberkern

While in my lab Hannah analysed how crickets integrate antennal and auditory stimuli during phonotaxis. Interestingly antennal stimulation and active antennal exploration of objects suppresses phonotactic steering. At Janelia Farm she developed a virtual environment for visually guided behavior in Drosophila in Vivek Jaramayans lab at Janelia Farm.

 Pedro Jacob 136x175

Joaquim "Pedro" Jacob

Pedro graduated in Lisbon, his PhD project was supported by the Portuguese Champalimaud Foundation. He anlysed the singing CPG of field crickets with intracellular recordings and selective lesion experiments. Moreover he compared interneurons of the singing CPG in different species. Pedro is now post-doc in Scott Waddell's lab in Oxford.

 Tim Bailey 136x175

Timothy Bayley

Tim was funded by the MRC. His PhD project focused on optical imaging of neuronal motor activity in larval Drosophila with genetically encoded calcium reporters, and in bush-cricket antennal interneurons with intracellular loading with calcium sensitive dyes. Tim is now training in industry.


 Kelly Seagraves

Kelly Seagraves

Kelly analysed how crickets may use phase differences between sound waves approaching the left and right hearing organ.  She then continues to work on vocalization in mice in Roian Egnor's lab at Janelia Farm. Kelly is now at Princeton University.



Stefan Schoeneich

Stefan was a BBSRC research associate and systematically explored the neuronal mechanism underlying auditory pattern recognition in the cricket brain.

He identified interneurons of the cricket singing-CPG, which revealed that the CPG is located in the abdominal ganglia. Stefan also analysed corollary discharge mechanisms that modulate the activity of cercal interneurons in singing crickets. Stefan is now post-doc at Leipzig University.


Konstantinos Kostarakos

Kostas came from Graz University/Austria and was a Royal Society Newton Fellow in my lab. He identified crucial local auditory interneurons in the cricket brain and moreover identified a local non-spiking interneuron, that forms a delay-line in the pattern recognition network.