Dr Swidbert Ott
Royal Society University Research Fellow
Dr Swidbert Ott is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.
Our broad goal is to understand the mechanisms that enable animals of a given genotype to adjust to changes in their environment. As an experimental model we use Phase Change in the Desert Locust, an extreme and economically devastating example of such phenotypic plasticity. Locusts transform between two forms or phases that differ extensively in appearance and behaviour. They usually occur in a solitarious phase that actively avoids other locusts. High population densities, however, trigger a transformation into the gregarious phase that is attracted to other locusts and forms the notorious swarms. Remarkably, a few hours of enforced crowding are sufficient for a complete switch to gregarious behaviour, which then drives slower changes in colour, morphology and metabolism. We are using an integrative approach to analyse how the touch, sight and smell of other locusts affect neural signalling, gene expression, brain structure, neuronal function and behaviour.
learning and memory
No direct clinical relevance
Electrophysiological recording techniques
Maurice Elphick Web: http://www.sbcs.qmul.ac.uk/people/...
Tom Matheson Web: http://www.le.ac.uk/biology...
Philip Newland Web: http://www.sbs.soton.ac.uk/staff/p...
Steve Simpson Web: http://www.bio.usyd.edu.au/staff/s...
Jozef Vanden Broeck Web: http://www.kuleuven.ac.be/researc...
Ott SR, Rogers SM (2010), “Gregarious desert locusts have substantially larger brains with altered proportions compared with the solitarious phase.” Proc Biol Sci 277(1697):3087-96 Details
Anstey ML, Rogers SM, Ott SR, Burrows M, Simpson SJ (2009), “Serotonin mediates behavioral gregarization underlying swarm formation in desert locusts.” Science 323(5914):627-30 Details
Ott SR, Philippides A, Elphick MR, O'Shea M (2007), “Enhanced fidelity of diffusive nitric oxide signalling by the spatial segregation of source and target neurones in the memory centre of an insect brain” European Journal of Neuroscience 25(1):181-190 Details
Philippides A, Ott SR, Husbands P, Lovick TA, O'Shea M (2005), “Modeling cooperative volume signaling in a plexus of nitric-oxide-synthase-expressing neurons” Journal of Neuroscience 25(28):6520-6532 Details
Berthier K, Chapuis MP, Simpson SJ, Ferenz HJ, Kane CMH, Kang L, Lange A, Ott SR, Ebbe MAB, Rodenburg KW, Rogers SM, Torto B, Vanden Broeck J, van Loon JJA, Sword GA (2010), “Laboratory populations as a resource for understanding the relationship between genotypes and phenotypes: a global case study in locusts” Adv Insect Physiol 39:1-37
Blackburn LM, Ott SR, Matheson T, Burrows M, Rogers SM (2010), “Motor neurone responses during a postural reflex in solitarious and gregarious desert locusts.” J Insect Physiol 56(8):902-10 Details
Münch D, Ott SR, Pflüger HJ (2010), “Three-dimensional distribution of NO sources in a primary mechanosensory integration center in the locust and its implications for volume signaling.” J Comp Neurol 518(15):2903-16 Details
Ott SR (2008), “Confocal microscopy in large insect brains: zinc-formaldehyde fixation improves synapsin immunostaining and preservation of morphology in whole-mounts.” J Neurosci Methods 172(2):220-30 Details
Ott SR, Aonuma H, Newland PL, Elphick MR (2007), “Nitric oxide synthase in crayfish walking leg ganglia: segmental differences in chemo-tactile centers argue against a generic role in sensory integration.” J Comp Neurol 501(3):381-99 Details
Korneev SA, Straub V, Kemenes I, Korneeva EI, Ott SR, Benjamin PR, O'Shea M (2005), “Timed and targeted differential regulation of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and anti-NOS genes by reward conditioning leading to long-term memory formation.” J Neurosci 25(5):1188-92 Details
Kurylas AE, Ott SR, Schachtner J, Elphick MR, Williams L, Homberg U (2005), “Localization of nitric oxide synthase in the central complex and surrounding midbrain neuropils of the locust Schistocerca gregaria.” J Comp Neurol 484(2):206-23 Details
Ott SR, Delago A, Elphick MR (2004), “An evolutionarily conserved mechanism for sensitization of soluble guanylyl cyclase reveals extensive nitric oxide-mediated upregulation of cyclic GMP in insect brain.” Eur J Neurosci 20(5):1231-44 Details
Ott SR, Elphick MR (2003), “New techniques for whole-mount NADPH-diaphorase histochemistry demonstrated in insect ganglia.” J Histochem Cytochem 51(4):523-32 Details
van Staaden MJ, Rieser M, Ott SR, Pabst MA, Römer H (2003), “Serial hearing organs in the atympanate grasshopper Bullacris membracioides (Orthoptera, Pneumoridae).” J Comp Neurol 465(4):579-92 Details
Ott SR, Elphick MR (2002), “Nitric oxide synthase histochemistry in insect nervous systems: Methanol/formalin fixation reveals the neuroarchitecture of formaldehyde-sensitive NADPH diaphorase in the cockroach Periplaneta americana.” J Comp Neurol 448(2):165-85 Details
Römer H, Hedwig B, Ott SR (2002), “Contralateral inhibition as a sensory bias: the neural basis for a female preference in a synchronously calling bushcricket, Mecopoda elongata.” Eur J Neurosci 15(10):1655-62 Details
Wildman M, Ott SR, Burrows M (2002), “GABA-like immunoreactivity in nonspiking interneurons of the locust metathoracic ganglion.” J Exp Biol 205(Pt 23):3651-9 Details
Ott SR, Jones IW, Burrows M, Elphick MR (2000), “Sensory afferents and motor neurons as targets for nitric oxide in the locust.” J Comp Neurol 422(4):521-32 Details
Ott SR, Burrows M (1999), “NADPH diaphorase histochemistry in the thoracic ganglia of locusts, crickets, and cockroaches: species differences and the impact of fixation.” J Comp Neurol 410(3):387-97 Details
Ott SR, Burrows M (1998), “Nitric oxide synthase in the thoracic ganglia of the locust: distribution in the neuropiles and morphology of neurones.” J Comp Neurol 395(2):217-30 Details
Ott SR (1997), “Acquisition of high-resolution digital images in video microscopy: automated image mosaicking on a desktop microcomputer.” Microsc Res Tech 38(3):335-9 Details