Ph.D. Program




Members > Reinhard Lakes-Harlan

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Reinhard Lakes-Harlan

Professor of Zoology, University of Göttingen

Dr. rer. nat., University of Marburg, Germany, 1988
Postdoctoral fellow, McGill University Montreal, Canada 1989 - 1990
Since 1991 at the Faculty of Biology, University of Göttingen, Germany

Major Research Interests:

Reinhard Lakes-Harlan

Hearing organs are extremely sensitive to mechanical stimulation and provide the organism with crucial information for communication and survival. The information processing in the central nervous system requires highly specific synaptic connections. All this is especially interesting for the small ears of insects. The smallness causes special problems, like that of directionality, but also provides the opportunity to work with individually known cells. The function, development and evolution of these sophisticated systems are in focus of our research.

We investigate the development of the sensory organ, especially that of the sensory cells in respect to soma position, axogenesis and synaptogenesis. These primary sensory cells establishing a topographic order which is a prerequisite for precise information processing. The rules underlying this process are analysed on a cellular and molecular level. After the embryonic development, developmental processes are repeated during regeneration. During regeneration the formation of individual synapses for behavioural recovery can be followed. The function of sensory cells are investigated in vivo and in vitro. The main keywords are the biophysics, the peripheral modulation via second messengers and the sensory transduction of the auditory organs. The functional analyses include experiments with a systems approach: investigations of behaviour and of the sensory ecology reveal the evolutionary selection pressures which resulted in the specific properties of the sense organs.

Institute for Zoology
Berliner Str. 28
37073 Göttingen

phone: +49-551-39 5409
fax: +49-551-39 5438

Selected Recent Publications:

Schäffer S & Lakes-Harlan R (2001) Embryonic development of the central projection of auditory afferents (Schistocerca gregaria, Orthoptera, Insecta) J Neurobiol 46: 97-112

Köhler U & Lakes-Harlan R (2001) Auditory behaviour of a parasitoid fly (Emblemasoma auditrix, Sarcophagidae, Diptera) J Comp Physiol A 187: 581-587

Jacobs K & Lakes-Harlan R (2000) Pathfinding, target recognition and synapse formation of single regenerating fibres in the adult grasshopper Schistocerca gregaria. J Neurobiol 42: 394-409

Jacobs K & Lakes-Harlan R (1999) Axonal degeneration within the tympanal nerve of Schistocerca gregaria. Cell Tiss Res 298: 167-178

Lakes-Harlan R, Stölting H & Stumpner A (1999) Convergent evolution of an insect ear from a preadaptive structure. Proc B Roy Soc 266: 1161-1167