Nature´s GPS: the magnetic map sense of migratory birds

Date

Friday, June 14, 2019 - 10:00

Location

Seminar Room C016, Lab1

Description

PhD Candidate Dmitry Kobylkov, AG Neurosensorik/Animal Navigation, IBU, Carl-von-Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg

Title:

Nature´s GPS: the magnetic map sense of migratory birds

Abstract:

Migratory birds are extraordinary navigators – they cover thousands of kilometres between breeding and wintering grounds with an astonishing precision. It is of vital importance for them to have an accurate positioning system. The sensory basis of long-distance navigation remained elusive for decades. Birds use both a compass and a map sense during their migratory journeys. Recent studies reveal that the Earth’s magnetic field could provide important cues for birds’ map system. We were able to show that trigeminal sensory system plays a crucial role in the perception of the magnetic field cues relevant for the map sense. My current research project focuses on the neuronal correlates of the trigeminally-mediated magnetoreception. I am using the method of neuronal tract tracing to follow the upstream projections from the primary magnetosensory areas towards integration centres in the birds’ forebrain. This study is the first step towards understanding the neuronal mechanisms underlying the magnetic map sense in long-distance migratory birds.

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