Aarti Sehdev is PhD student at the University of Konstanz, under the supervision of Dr. Paul Szyszka. She studied for both her undergraduate and Master’s degree in Biological Sciences at University College London, where she worked on genetic variation in the Drosophila auditory system.
Here she focuses on how honey bees perform target odorant segregation from an odour mixture, using behavioural assays and calcium imaging.
Insects live in a complicated olfactory environment. Airborne odors distribute in small packages, intermingle and fluctuate at different time scales. Therefore, olfactory stimuli contain much less information about identity and location of their sources than visual or auditory scenes. Paul Szyszka is interested in how the insect olfactory system copes with such complicated stimuli. He uses behavioral experiments to probe the limits of insects’ olfaction and to test how olfactory performance depends on experience. He uses electrophysiological and optical imaging methods to investigate the neuronal mechanisms of odor perception and experience-dependent plasticity.