Emeritus Professor of Zoology, University of Cambridge

Studies in insects have contributed particularly important insights into the role of interactions between identified non-spiking and spiking interneurons in generating and controlling natural movements such as walking, flying and jumping. These analyses have provided fundamental insights into the mechanisms by which sensory input and motor output are integrated in complex pre-motor networks. A particularly demanding movement is jumping. The control of this movement is being studied from both neurobiological and biomechanical perspectives using a combination of intracellular recording and staining techniques, behavioural analyses with high speed video and antibody staining. Recent studies have shown how energy is stored for the propulsive leg movements, how the motor pattern to the muscles is generated, and how interacting gears synchronise the movements of the legs.

Experience

  • –present
    Professor of Insect Neurobiology, University of Cambridge