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Showing posts from May, 2014

Fresh Insights into UW Biology: Part 3

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Enjoy our third and final installment of getting to know the first years. Thanks to Melissa Steele-Ogus
Joshua Swore is studying the genetic mechanisms underlying regeneration in the phylum Ctenophora (comb jellies) in the lab of Billie Swalla. He is particularly interested in why some species of ctenophores are capable of regenerating the entirety of their body from a half animal while others can only regenerate their combs. Joshua came to UW to study at Friday Harbor laboratories, but has also been enjoying the Seattle campus. He is having a wonderful time in Seattle so far and says that being able to get out to the mountains helps keep him sane.
Zander Fodor is also studying ctenophores in Billie Swalla's lab, but his research tackles a different question: whether or not these ancient animals possess a mesoderm. He hopes to discover the evolution of this tissue layer, which could help give clues to the body plan of the common ancestor of all extant animals. He was impressed wit…

Grad Publication: Brad Dickerson

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Brad Dickerson of the Daniel lab had work become available online in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

      Animals collect and act on spatially and temporally rich sensory information to move through complex natural environments. My research uses insect flight as a model to understand the role of sensorimotor processing in the control of animal movement. Specifically, I focus on how the nervous system extracts information about an animal’s body dynamics in controlling neuromuscular programs that accomplish agile maneuvers. An open challenge is how these animals detect the dynamics of their own bodies in addition to external sensory cues. In this regard, I am focusing on inertial and gyroscopic sensing in insect flight. I am studying how a flying insect uses this information to produce behavior robust to external disturbances through the interaction between the neurobiology of sensors embedded in sensory structures and the structure’s biomechanics.

      Flies possess gyros…