Department of Neuroscience
University of Leicester
My fascination with sensory neuroscience began with my childhood observations of mosquitoes swarming at dusk on long Summer days. The female mosquito’s high-pitched whine (all too familiar to victims of their bites) turns out to be necessary for male mosquitoes to locate them. The remarkable auditory sensitivity of mosquitoes is underpinned by ~16,000 neurons, jam-packed into a tiny structure: the Johnston’s organ. My imagination was captured by these mechanosensory neurons and sparked a question which has guided my research journey ever since: How do insect auditory neurons transduce nanoscale displacements into neural potentials?
Alexandre N, Spalthoff C, Kandasamy R, KatanaR, Warren B, et al., (2015). TRP channels in insect stretch-receptors as insecticide targets. 86: 1-7.