How do animals use chemosensation (i.e. smell and taste) to navigate their environment?
The sense of smell is crucial for foraging and mating. Not many animals, particularly small children, willingly eat food that 'smells bad'; something similar can be said of mating. I investigate how the olfactory system—a set of neural structures that detects, analyzes, and perceives smells—guides animal decision making. To this end, I use electrophysiological, histological and behavioral methods to uncover cellular and neuronal mechanisms that control olfactory function. I am particularly interested in discovering olfactory circuits for specific behaviors and cellular functions that allow the olfactory system to deal with environmental stress. Lastly, I welcome students who want to learn how to conduct science to come to the lab. Interested students will learn techniques, experimental design and (hopefully) how to think critically.