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, where I am now a lecturer. Throughout my career I have been developing behavioural methods for measuring the visual performance of organisms as diverse as insects, fish 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. The aim of many of my research projects is to explore the visual design and the neuronal basis behind safe navigation systems active on land, in air and in water.
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 sensations 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.
I also have a keen interest for the education of the general public and among other things act as a panel member of the nature show “Studio Natur” and direct and perform in the Lund University Biology Show. I also enjoy putting together short presentations in the form of 3 – 8 minute long Sience slams (some example can be viewed in downloads and links).
(fetched from Lund University's publications database)
- A snapshot-based mechanism for celestial orientation
- Bumblebees perform well-controlled landings in dim light
- Fecal-Derived Phenol Induces Egg-Laying Aversion in Drosophila
- Finding the gap : A brightness-based strategy for guidance in cluttered environments
- How well can bees see the world?
- Night sky orientation with diurnal and nocturnal eyes: dim-light adaptations are critical when the moon is out of sight
- Spatial Vision in Bombus terrestris.
- The final moments of landing in bumblebees, Bombus terrestris.
- Visual navigation in nocturnal insects
- Bumblebee flight performance in environments of different proximity.
- Bumblebees measure optic flow for position and speed control flexibly within the frontal visual field.
- Effect of light intensity on flight control and temporal properties of photoreceptors in bumblebees.
- Neural coding underlying the cue preference for celestial orientation
- Spectral information as an orientation cue in dung beetles
- Control of self-motion in dynamic fluids: fish do it differently from bees.
- Diurnal dung beetles use the intensity gradient and the polarization pattern of the sky for orientation.
- Honeybee navigation: critically examining the role of the polarization compass
- Marie Dacke
- The role of the sun in the celestial compass of dung beetles.
- Animal or plant: which is the better fog water collector?
- Dung beetles ignore landmarks for straight-line orientation
- Dung beetles use their dung ball as a mobile thermal refuge
- Elytra boost lift, but reduce aerodynamic efficiency in flying beetles.
- The dung beetle dance: an orientation behaviour?
- Visual flight control in naturalistic and artificial environments.
- Bearing selection in ball-rolling dung beetles: is it constant?
- Fog-basking behaviour and water collection efficiency in Namib Desert Darkling beetles
- Minimum viewing angle for visually guided ground speed control in bumblebees.
- The Approach Behaviour of the Hawkmoth Manduca sexta toward Multi-Modal Stimuli: A Simulation Model
- The moment before touchdown: landing manoeuvres of the honeybee Apis mellifera
- Visual Orientation and Navigation in Nocturnal Arthropods.
- Sky compass orientation:
- Polarized light orientation in dim light
- The neuronal substrate of compass orientation
- Path-integration in a desert beetle