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Sensory ecology

An International Course for Postgraduate Students
The senses of animals are essential for every aspect of daily life. Whether detecting a mate or a prey, escaping the attentions of a predator or simply monitoring the surrounding habitat, an animal's senses are critical to its survival. To respond to the opportunities and dangers of the world quickly and effectively, each species must possess a sensory system that is uniquely optimised to its particular ecology. This "sensory ecology" has driven the remarkable range of sensory systems we find in Nature today.

Now in its third decade, the international postgraduate course Sensory Ecology is known throughout the world. The two-week course, which is limited to 40 participants, is organised by the Department of Biology at Lund University. The course is held every second year in September and/or October. The world's leading authorities in sensory ecology are invited to Lund to deliver an outstanding program of lectures covering all animal senses.

Completion of the course renders 6 ECTS.

The 2020 course will run from September 20th (arrival) to October 4th (depart) and is now open for applications.

A final decision about whether the COVID-19 crisis will force us to cancel the course will be made on July 30th and applicants notified.

Proboscis and antennae

Upper image:The sensillae on the proboscis of a death's head hawk moth (Acherontia atropos). They include mechanoreceptors and chemoreceptors. This moth is specialised to steal honey from bee hives. The short but wide proboscis works like an injection needle.

Lower image:The tip of the antenna of a male hummingbird hawkmoth (Macroglossum stellatarum) with olfactory hairs.

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The nocturnal Australian net-casting spider (Dinopis subrufus) has very sensitive posterior-medial eyes with a design similar to that of the human eye. The large lenses, which can measure up to 1.4 mm in diameter, allow the spider to capture small prey in the dead of night.

Contact information

All inquiries should be directed to the following address:

Sensory [dot] Ecology [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Course organisers

Eric Warrant
Functional zoology

Phone: +46 46-222 93 41
E-mail: Eric [dot] Warrant [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Marie Dacke
Functional zoology

Phone: +46 46-222 93 36
E-mail: marie [dot] dacke [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Christer Löfstedt
Functional zoology

Phone: +46 46-222 93 38
E-mail: Christer [dot] Lofstedt [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se