Research Output per year
I am interested in how animals orient and how their sensory systems and brains gather and process information. This led me from pioneering work on dye injection and physiological characterization of identified interneurones in crustacea (J. exp. Biol (1974a) 61:593-613; J. exp. Biol (1974b) 61:615-628), to solving a long standing problem regarding the identification of depth sensors (Nature (1994) 371:383-384; Nature (2002) 415:495-496). I further pioneered the use of microprocessors in data gathering and experimental control, building my own Z80 based computers and data acquisition circuits for experimental work and edited a book entitled "Microcomputers in Physiology: a practical approach". This equipment along with funding from two Science Research Council grants (SRC GR/A/03722 1/4/76 - 30/6/79 and 1979-1980) for a research assistant and equipment allowed me to begin to study the vestibular system of the crab as a model system for the human balancing system, and to show that other well characterized sense organs functioned as balance organs (Nature (1977) 268, 523 - 524). My work has led to recording from vestibular systems in crabs during Parabolic flight and hypergravity up to 20G using European Space Agency facilities and to recordings in sharks in a hypobaric chamber, and has been selected for the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2008. It has received extensive television, radio and newspaper coverage on a worldwide basis including a Nature blog.
I retired in July 2010 after 35 years as a lecturer and senior lecturer in Zoology at the University of Aberdeen
I continue as Chairman of the Animal Navigation Group in the Royal Institute of Navigation and am at present Chairman of the conference committee organizing RIN11 the 7th International conference on Animal Navigation which will be held in April 2011.
Research output: Patent