The sense of taste is critical for identifying nutrients (electrolytes, carbohydrates and proteins) from toxins (plant alkaloids). Animals show innate preferences for nutrients and avoid ingesting toxins, but these stereotypical behaviors can be reversed with experience. I am interested in the neural structure (anatomy) and function (physiology) of orosensation (taste, mechanosensation and thermosensation), taste perception and oromotor reflexes (licking, chewing, swallowing and gaping). Currently, I use a multifaceted approach (neurophysiology, immunohistochemistry and optogenetics) to study the structure and function of orosensation in the murine-nervous system. I also have interest in the structure and function of chemosensation (taste and smell) and behavior in other model organisms, such as insects and amphibians.