AG Sensory biology of animals
Fac. V: Institute of Biology and Environmental Sciences (IBU)
Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
Carl von Ossietzky-Str. 9-11
Tel.: +49 (0)441 798 3339
Fax: +49 (0)441 71641
Sensory Biology of Animals
The primary focus of the working group is the sensory basis of magnetic orientation in animals, particularly in fish.
It is well known that anadromous fish like salmon return from the ocean to the rivers where they once hatched, but how they orient and navigate in the vast ocean has not been resolved yet. There is good evidence that they extract directional and even positional information from the Earth’s magnetic field, but to do so, an animal requires specialized sensory structures for the detection of magnetic fields and dedicated brain centers for processing the received information and integrating it with other sources of information. Our primary goal is to identify the thus far unknown cellular structures and mechanisms responsible for magnetic field reception in fish.
For our research we use operant conditioning and various methods of molecular cell- and neurobiology, laser microscopy, and magnetic imaging using optically detected magnetic resonance.