Neuroscience and Behavior

The Neuroscience and Behavior Focus Group includes faculty and graduate students broadly interested in organismal form and function.  Research interests within the focus group span a wide range of physiological and structural problems, but emphasize the mechanistic basis of behavior and physiological ecology.  A particular strength of the group is common faculty interest in the neural programs that drive animal behaviors.  The faculty specialize in the neurobiology of chemoreception (Silver), acoustic and chemical communication (Conner), functional morphology and biomechanics of locomotion (Ashley-Ross), physiological ecology of aquatic invertebrates (Dimock), neuroscience and social insects (Fahrbach), and biological oscillators (E. Johnson).  Focus group faculty provide expertise in techniques such as electrophysiology, acoustic and ultrasonic recording, kinematics of movement, electromyography, neuroanatomy, confocal microscopy, electron microscopy, and calcium imaging.  Research projects involve animals ranging from insects and molluscs to all vertebrate groups.

Faculty offer a wide range of graduate seminar courses; subjects are chosen according to current faculty and student interests.  Recent seminars have included Bioinspiration and Biomimetics (Conner and Ashley-Ross), Neural Circuits and Behavior (Johnson), and Conservation Physiology (Dimock).

We strongly encourage prospective graduate students to email, call, and/or visit the individual faculty members of the Neurobiology and Behavior group to explore opportunities for research leading to a Master’s degree or a Ph.D.