Biological Sciences Departmental Seminar: "How and what do insects smell: Exploiting olfaction for novel control measures"


Location: 283 Galvin Life Science

Zain Syed

The Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame is pleased to present a seminar by Zainulabeuddin (Zain) Syed, Ph.D., assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of Notre Dame.

The talk, "How and what do insects smell: Exploiting olfaction for novel control measures," will take place at 4pm on Tuesday, November 5 in 283 Galvin Life Science.

The remarkable success of insects on earth has largely been due to their ability to adapt to new environments and utilize new food resources. In insects, as in other animals, senses are biological features that have been shaped by natural selection to promote adaptive behavior. Among these, olfaction is pronounced. They rely heavily on the sense of smell to locate suitable hosts, habitats, oviposition sites and conspecifics. A distinct and limited range of volatiles from these sources are parsimoniously used in various contexts eliciting robust behaviors. Our lab employs a variety of analytical, genetic, molecular, sensory physiological and behavioral techniques to isolate and identify the chemosensory signals and their cognate receptors. We exploit this basic understanding of chemical ecology and insects’ neuroethology to develop novel attractants and repellents. We extend these studies to genome analyses to gain novel insights into the evolution of olfactory systems in changing landscapes.

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