Biologiska institutionen | Lunds universitet

Hui Chen – new postdoc

Portrait of Hui Chen. Photo.

I have had a keen interest in insect movements and insect sensory mechanisms since I started my research career. Initially, I analysed meteorological and survey data on a large scale to show how meteorological factors shape the migratory routes of insects and predict their distribution, focusing on species such as the white-backed planthopper (Sogatella furcifera) and the fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) in my home country of China.

After this, I realised that even tiny insects have their own self-orientation capacity during airborne migration, which was an impressive and fascinating phenomenon to me. Consequently, I decided to study the flight behaviour of nocturnal migratory insects, specifically the fall armyworm, during the first three years of my PhD.

During this time, I considered collaborating with Eric Warrant and David Dreyer on experiments related to moth flight orientation. However, the pandemic postponed our planned cooperation. In the fourth year of my PhD, things started to progress smoothly, and I applied for a scholarship to visit Eric’s lab in both Sweden and Australia as an exchange student for one year or more. Our goal was to investigate how the long-distance navigator, the Bogong moth, utilises magnetic and stellar cues to orient itself in its inherited migratory direction.

Recently, we discovered that the Bogong moth uses a magnetic compass for navigation. Therefore, for my postdoctoral research, I will mainly try to understand how the Bogong moth processes this cue in its brain by applying electrophysiological techniques (extracellular tetrode recordings) and behavioural methods. We also aim to determine whether the magnetic compass is based on a cryptochrome mechanism.

juni 26, 2024

Inlägget postades i