Fellows of the International Society for Neuroethology is an honor bestowed on members of the ISN for meritorious efforts to advance the science of neuroethology.
ISN Fellows Nomination & Selection Procedures
Catherine Carr is Professor of Biology at the University of Maryland, College Park. She earned her BS and first class honors in Zoology from the University of Cape Town in 1977, her MA in Biology from the State University New York at Buffalo in 1978, and her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from University of California San Diego in 1984, where she studied temporal processing in weakly electric fish under the supervision of Walter Heiligenberg. She received the Society for Neuroethology’s Young Investigator Prize in 1984 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology in 1987 with Mark Konishi, where she worked on sound localization in barn owls. She received an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in 1988. She joined the Zoology Department at the University of Maryland, College Park in 1990. There, she and her students work on temporal coding in birds and reptiles. Catherine has also worked at the Marine Biological Laboratory, beginning as an instructor in the Neural Systems and Behavior course in 1990. She was appointed to the faculty of the course in 1995 and was Co-Director from 2000-2004. From 2005-2008 she served as the Grass Foundation Lab Director. She received a Humboldt Senior Research Prize (2004, 2011), was a fellow of the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg in 2011 and became a fellow of AAAS in 2012. In 2015, she was named Doctoris Honoris Causa by the University of Southern Denmark and Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland. Dr. Carr was elected Chair of the Grass Foundation for 2018-2020.
Alison Mercer is Professor of Zoology at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. Her interest in the structural and functional plasticity of the nervous system has resulted in a significant body of work encompassing multiple approaches in several invertebrate systems. As a Humboldt Research Fellow working in the laboratory of Randolf Menzel at the Free University of Berlin, Alison began the work for which she is most well-known, uncovering the functions of the biogenic amines in the brain of the honey bee and characterizing the function and expression of biogenic amine receptors. Her ground-breaking work on the actions of queen mandibular pheromone on a specific subtype of dopamine receptor has led to a shift in our understanding of the actions of pheromones. Embodying the philosophy of using the best system to answer the question, in parallel with her research in honey bees, Alison used electrophysiology and pharmacological tools to investigate the role of serotonin in synaptic plasticity in Aplysia. She also developed a long-term collaboration with colleagues at the University of Arizona examining plasticity in the antennal lobes of the moth Manduca sexta. Alison has advanced the cause of neuroethology as a mentor for numerous students and postgraduate researchers, and through her ongoing engagement with the general public as well as the beekeeper community. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and received the award of Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2008. Alison served as the President of the ISN from 2010 to 2014.
Cynthia F. Moss
Cynthia F. Moss is Professor in Psychological and Brain Sciences, Neuroscience and Mechanical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University. She received a BS from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she completed an honors thesis with Vincent Dethier. She earned her Ph.D. from Brown University under the mentorship of Andrea Simmons. Cindy was a postdoctoral fellow with Uli Schnitzler at the University of Tübingen and later with Jim Simmons at Brown University, before accepting a faculty appointment at Harvard University. At Harvard, Cindy received the Phi Beta Kappa teaching award and was named Morris Kahn Associate Professor. After six years at Harvard Cindy moved to the University of Maryland, where she was a Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Institute for Systems Research until 2014, when she joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins University. As a junior faculty member, she received an NSF Young Investigator Award and was twice awarded Fellowships at the Berlin Institute for Advanced Studies. Cindy has dedicated her career to investigating the mechanisms of the spatial perception systems used by humans and other animals to direct their actions and navigate in the natural environment. She and her colleagues have developed methods that permit the collection of multi-channel wireless neural recordings from free-flying echolocating bats. In 2001, Cindy was elected to the rank of Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America and in 2012, she was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She received the Hartmann Prize in Auditory Neuroscience in 2017 and the James McKeen Cattell Award in 2018.
Peter M. Narins
Peter M. Narins, in the Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology at the University of California Los Angeles, has carried out studies of auditory and seismic communication and correlated physiological investigations with amphibians and mammals that have altered our understanding of how animals perceive the world. Although his research has focused primarily on amphibians as a model system for the understanding of auditory signal extraction from noise, Narins’ research has contributed insights into the generation, propagation and detection of seismic signals by amphibians, mammals, birds and insects. He has been a consistent, strong voice for neuroethology in the US and abroad through his work on various Editorial Boards and participation as an invited instructor for 15 overseas graduate courses in Latin America and Europe. He has served the International Society for Neuroethology as Society President, Treasurer, and Council member. Narins’ research has produced nearly 200 publications resulting in numerous honors and awards for his outstanding work including election to the rank of Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, the Animal Behavior Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
James Simmons is Professor of Neuroscience at Brown University and is a pioneer in the field of biosonar research. His research includes behavioral and neurophysiological studies of sound processing in the echolocating bat. Simmons has developed new methods for conducting psychophysical studies of sonar processing by bats, and numerous researchers around the world have adopted his methods. He was the first to use electronically delayed playbacks of the bat's echolocation signals to simulate target echoes for the study of perception in bats and also to demonstrate time-varying gain in the sonar receiver of echolocating bats. Recently, he has used new methods for making thermal infrared video recordings of bats flying in natural situations and has developed a stereo video viewing system that lets him observe bats in 3D and listen to their sounds while they behave. Jim was honored as a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) in 1996 and as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2000. He was awarded the ASA's second Silver Medal in Animal Bioacoustics in 2005.
Tom Collett’s research has been devoted to understanding visually guided behavior in a large range of animals including flies, frogs, gerbils, ants and bees. The impact of his research spans from basic neurobiology to psychology with his seminal work on visual homing continuing to be a key conceptual touchstone for comparative cognition and biorobotics. Collett was one of the earliest appointments in the newly founded University of Sussex. Together with a small cohort of neurobiologists, he helped to establish the University of Sussex as a center for Neuroethology in the UK. More broadly, through his service on editorial boards and grant funding bodies, he has been a constructive force for neuroethology in the UK and beyond.
Tom Cronin’s research has had a profound impact on the field of neuroethology and in particular, on the field of visual ecology. He spent 3 years as a Postdoctoral Fellow working with Timothy Goldsmith at Yale University investigating the properties of crustacean visual pigments. In 1983, he joined the Department of Biological Sciences at UMBC, where he has remained to this day. Tom’s research, which combines his interests in sensory ecology and visual photobiology, has led to nearly 200 publications. While he is interested primarily in the visual physiology of invertebrates, especially of marine and estuarine crustaceans, his lab motto is “If it has eyes, we can study it!”
Franz Huber’s pioneering work on the neural basis of acoustic communication in crickets remained at the forefront over the course of a career that spanned more than four decades. He played a lead role in deciphering the neural basis of song production in crickets, and the mechanisms underlying song recognition and sound localization in these small creatures. As the founding father of cricket neurobiology, Huber helped shape the field of Neuroethology as a whole. His research, warmth, enthusiasm and his outstanding abilities as a communicator have inspired many to follow in his footsteps. Franz was co-founder of ISN, and he continues to this day to be a strong and effective advocate for Neuroethology. His studies had a profound influence on the field.
Darcy Kelley is widely recognized for her pioneering research on the endocrine and neural basis of vocal communication and the evolutionary forces that have given rise to sex-specific mechanisms. She developed courtship song in Xenopus frogs as a model system for understanding the sexual differentiation of vocal muscles and motor neurons. Darcy has contributed fundamental insights into how brains respond to social opportunity and social challenge at the level of the neural circuit. At Columbia, she founded the interdisciplinary undergraduate major in neuroscience and behavior and she played a key role in the creation of the undergraduate core course "Frontiers of Science.” She also founded Columbia's doctoral program in neurobiology and behavior almost 20 years ago and still serves as its director today. Her research impact, together with her innovative and dedicated educational contributions elevate Kelley to the very top echelon of neuroethologists.
Ed Kravitz worked as a postdoctoral researcher at NIH, before being recruited to Harvard in the early 1960’s. Kravitz was part of a small team of scientists who discovered that GABA functions as a neurotransmitter compound at crustacean neuromuscular junctions. Kravitz and his team studied the role of serotonin and octopamine as neuromodulators in crustaceans. This led to analyses of aggression in crustacean systems and more recently, to molecular analysis of aggression in the fruit fly. His scientific contributions, including his seminal discoveries on the function of GABA, his pioneering use of Procion Yellow to visualize neuronal architecture, and his insights into the modulatory actions of monamines and their role in aggression have had a resounding impact on the field of Neuroethology. He is a strong and effective advocate for Neuroethology, and his service to the International Society for Neuroethology has been truly outstanding.
Eve Marder’s work proving that neural circuits can be reconfigured by neuromodulatory neurons and substances to produce a variety of outputs and herpioneering studies of homeostatic regulation of intrinsic membrane properties changed the way we think about neural circuits, and about the functional properties of neurons. Not only is Marder admired and respected for her scientific insights, but she is equally well known for her mentoring of young investigators and her support for women in science.
Robert R. Capranica
Robert (Bob) Capranica is one of the Society's founders and was largely responsible for defining what neuroethology is. Capranica is also widely considered the father of amphibian neuroethology. His seminal thesis observation of the specificity of the bullfrog’s acoustic behavior led to a series of elegant experiments that culminated in the demonstration that the frog's thalamus is the site of neuronal tuning responsible for the detection of the mating call. His major contributions include his multiple studies showing species-specificity in the spectral sensitivities of the frog auditory system; with Nevo, on acoustic dialects in cricket frog calls demonstrating the existence of distinct call types in allopatric populations; his introduction of the concept of the “matched filter” to provide an underlying structure for the co-evolution of sender and receiver; and his studies elucidating the remarkable temporal specificity found in the cells of the anuran CNS that are often closely matched with advertisement call features. He continued to selflessly promote neuroethology through his endowment of the Capranica Prize that has inspired and motivated many young neuroethologists. Donations can be made to the Capranica Prize Fund to support the continuation of the Capranica Prize.
John G. Hildebrand
John Hildebrand’s research (University of Arizona) has been devoted to understanding the olfactory system of the sphinx moth Manduca sexta using multidisciplinary and experimental. His groundbreaking investigations have led to almost 200 publications. These include the development of the antennae and olfactory system, novel transsexual transplantation experiments, the first intracellular recordings from insect olfactory interneurons, pioneering immunocytochemical studies on neurotransmitter distribution, olfactory signal transduction, and more recently, multi-electrode recordings and behavioral studies on odor-dependent flight control. John was instrumental in establishing the Arizona Research Laboratory's Division of Neurobiology a unique, world-renowned center for neurosciences, particularly through the use of the insect as a neuroethological model system. John's other notable achievements have included founding the Gordon Conference in Neuroethology John Hildebrand's service to the ISN has also been exemplary, including Society Presidency and membership on numerous subcommittees.
The pioneering studies of Masakazu (Mark) Konishion the bird song system and sound localization are legendary and embody the very essence of neuroethology. He was the first to demonstrate that birds have to hear themselves to sing, and learn to sing from their fathers, thereby revealing the importance of auditory feedback for song development. By successfully employing the neuroethological paradigm of relating cells and networks to behavior, his subsequent studies on barn owl sound localization at Princeton, and later at Caltech, led to the discovery of a map of auditory space in midbrain auditory circuitry. Konishi has had a profound impact on the development of neuroethology as a founding member of the ISN, its 2nd president, and the driving force behind the Society's first International Congress in Tokyo.
Michael F. Land
Michael (Mike) Land (University of Sussex) represents the quintessential neuroethologist, conducting ground-breaking investigations on the comparative physiology of the optics of a wide range of animals, ranging from invertebrates, principally insects, crustaceans and mollusks, to humans, to provide novel insights into how eye design can predict and explain behavior. His work has included seminal studies on the physiological optics of scallop eyes, the properties of multilayer ocular reflectors in the molluscan eye, the visual behavior of jumping spiders, insect orientation, and eye movements in a variety of taxa including humans. In the latter, the analysis of eye movements that accompany actions, such as driving a car, has led to a novel understanding of vision as an active process. In addition to the innovative methodologies and other important findings, Mike is a gifted writer, inspirational speaker, and teacher, which together have contributed to making neuroethology the respected and important field that it is today.
Randolf H. R. Menzel
Through his lifelong passion for studying the neurobiology and behavior of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, Randolf Menzel (Free University of Berlin) has been instrumental in defining the present day field of neuroethology. In recognizing the usefulness of the honey bee as a model system, his pioneering research has contributed to our understanding of odor, visual processing, learning, memory, and spatial navigation, from the level of the organism and its behavioral ecology to the underlying substrates at the cellular, molecular and genetic levels. His seminal work on learning and memory has helped identify where associative memory storage occurs in the insect brain, how brain neural circuits establish memory traces and the dynamics of memory formation. His work on learning and memory in the simpler and more accessible honey bee has provided important insights into the basis of memory formation in other animals, including humans. As a previous President of the Society and recipient of many awards for his outstanding contributions to science, Randolf Menzel's selection as an ISN Fellow is a richly deserved accolade for this gifted scientist.
Rüdiger Wehner (University of Zürich) has pioneered the field of animal navigation through his research on the ability of the visually guided desert ant Cataglyphis to seek, find and return food sources located at a distance from its nest. Through multidisciplinary and imaginative behavioral experiments, anatomical investigation of the animal’s compound eyes and electrophysiological study of its visual pathways. His findings have provided a complete toolkit for understanding the field of navigation, and underpin our current understanding of the field. The corpus of his work, which has led to more than 200 publications, has made an outstanding contribution to the field of neuroethology. Through his outstanding communication skills and his efforts to bring science to the public at large, he has become one of the world’s best-known neuroethologists. He has been elected to several highly prestigious scientific societies and academies in Switzerland, Europe and the USA. A long-term member of the ISN, including serving as a Society Councilor, Rüdiger Wehner abundantly deserves to be honored as a Fellow of the Society.
Heiligenberg Student Travel Awards
The Capranica Neuroethology Prize
The Developing Neuroethology Award
The Young Investigator Awards
The Konishi Neuroethology Research Awards