Neuroecology and the olfactory basis of plant-pollinator interactions
Prof. Jeff Riffell, University of Washington: Chemical communication mediates a variety of critical ecological processes, including reproduction, foraging, and habitat selection. Behavior mediates many of these interactions, but rarely do ecological studies consider the behavioral processes and neurophysiological mechanisms underlying those interactions, and conversely, few neurophysiological studies go beyond the level of the single organism. Here, in this talk, I will present some of the work in the Riffell laboratory that seeks to bridge these fields, specifically using plant-pollinator interactions and insect disease vectors as models. In studying these systems, comparisons can be made to understand how innate and learned behaviors allow insects flexibility in their use of environmental resources.