My name is Peter Olsson and I am starting a PhD project in the Vision Group under Almut Kelber. My research will be focused on basic questions about the color vision of birds.
In the human eye, three types of cone receptors are found, the activation of these and the subsequent processing of their signals give rise to our view of the world. In birds there are five types of cone receptors, like us they have three that absorb in the spectrum of light we perceive as red, blue and green. Additionally, birds have one cone receptor that is able to absorb violet light and a double cone receptor. The function of the double cone receptor remains unknown. Birds, like some mammals and reptiles, have oil droplets in the cone receptors that are packed with carotenoid pigments that we believe narrow the spectrum of light that a given cone receptor is responsive to. The project I will be working on is a international collaboration in which these issues will be addressed. Specifically, I will be working on behavioral tests that will be performed on chicken that is used as the model animal.
I have a Bachelor's degree in Biology and a Master's degree in Ethology and Animal Biology from Linköping University. My Master thesis was focused on the sense of smell in humans. I studied gender differences in olfactory sensitivity.