Dr Amy Courtney


University position

Postdoctoral Scientist

Departments

MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

Institutes

Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology

Email

acourtney@mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk

Research Themes

Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience

Interests

My research takes advantage of unique animals and their evolutionary innovations to understand fundamental principles of nervous systems.. During my PhD I worked with the ctenophore Pleurobrachia pileus and now during my Postdoc I am working with the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the cephalopod Octopus vulgaris. My current research focuses of a synaptically localised receptor known as a cys-loop ligand-gated ion channel. These receptors are essential for fast neurotransmission and behavioural coordination in animals. I am striving to gain a broader understanding into the functional diversity of these receptors across the animal kingdom and explore the role they play in controlling behaviours. My work will lead to a deeper understanding into the evolution of nervous systems and basic principles of neural function.

Research Focus

Keywords

Octopus

Receptor

Neuromodulation

C. elegans

Synapse

Clinical conditions

No direct clinical relevance

Equipment

Behavioural analysis

Calcium imaging

Computerised tomography

Confocal microscopy

Electrophysiological recording techniques

Fluorescence microscopy

Immunohistochemistry

Microscopy

Collaborators

No collaborators listed

Associated News Items


    Key publications

    Courtney A, Liegey J, Burke N, Hassett AR, Lowery M, Pickering M. (2022), “Characterization of geometric variance in the epithelial nerve net of the ctenophore Pleurobrachia pileus. ” Journal of Comparative Neurology 530(9):143858

    Courtney A, Alvey LM, Merces GOT, Burke N, Pickering M. (2020), “The Flexiscope: a low cost, flexible, convertible and modular microscope with automated scanning and micromanipulation. ” R Soc Open Sci 7(3):191949

    Courtney A, Hassett, A, Merces GOT, Pickering M. (in submission), “Characterising the Behaviour of the Ctenophore Pleurobrachia pileus in a Laboratory Aquaculture System” Biorxiv https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.25.114744v1