After a fascinating time as a postdoctoral fellow at the Australian National University in Canberra, I came back to the Lund Vision Group in spring 2007. This is also where I received my PhD in 2003. Throughout my career I have been developing behavioural methods for measuring the visual performance of organisms as diverse as insects, spiders and humans. These methods make it possible to quantitatively measure the behavioural responses to visual stimuli, and then infer the underlying neural mechanisms that are responsible.
One of my current research projects focuses on nocturnal and diurnal navigational systems. I study these with great admiration for the capabilities of my model animals - all with a brain volume smaller than the size of a rice grain - as I myself totally lack any sense of direction. Neither can I see the polarized light that guides these animals on their journeys.
My frustration at not being able to experience all the sensory realms that Nature has to offer is a driving force behind much of my research. Even if these realms will always remain beyond my own experience, it is rewarding to try and gain insight into the sensory worlds that are obvious to so many other creatures. It is a stunning feeling to unravel mechanisms that underpin behaviours that previously seemed to be based on a strange “sixth sense”, or to realise that mechanisms, which at first glance seem perfectly inadequate, instead provide brilliant solutions to difficult biological problems.