skip to content

Department of Zoology

Issus gears in colour

Neurobiology aims to explain animal behaviour from the processing of sensory information to the generation of motor outputs and how it is shaped by the environment. By selecting the appropriate animals and behaviour we aim to illuminate general principles of the neural and functional organisation underlying behaviour.

Our research is key to understanding how animals interact with each other and with their environment. Moreover, because selection acts on neural mechanisms, our research provides insight how animals evolved. Using a range of insects as model systems we investigate how neural networks are assembled and once mature, how they integrate diverse information from the environment to generate particular behaviours such as locomotion and navigation and acoustic communication.

We also seek to understand biomechanical aspects of how animals adapt to their environment. For example, how insects attach themselves to substrates such as plants or how they jump.

Placing our studies in a behavioural and evolutionary framework is facilitated by easy interactions with our close colleagues who are cell, developmental and evolutionary biologists and behavioural ecologists.

Our Research groups

Drosophila Connectomics Group

Greg Jefferis and Matthias Landgraf - Revealing synaptic resolution brain circuits

Insect Biomechanics Group

Walter Federle - Physical ecology of animals and plants

Insect Neurobiology Group

Malcolm Burrows - Mechanisms of rapid jumping in insects

Neural Network Development Group

Matthias Landgraf - Plasticity mechanisms during nervous system development

Neurobiology of Acoustic Communication Group

Berthold Hedwig - Neurobiology of Insect Acoustic Communication

Zlatic Group

Marta Zlatic  - Circuit basis of learning and decision-making