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Nicholas Strausfeld

Nicholas Strausfeld

Professor Nicholas Strausfeld FRS


Elected: 2002


Nicholas Strausfeld is a world-leader in the field of neuroanatomy — the study of the structure of the nervous system, including recent discoveries of fossil brains. His research focuses on the comparative studies and evolution of arthropod brains, demonstrating that they are far more sophisticated than widely thought since their small size does not impede their complexity.

He has pioneered our understanding of insect vision by revealing the pathways along which visual information from insect eyes passes to the brain for processing. He also identified parts of the insect brain that are associated with spatial learning — crucial for understanding the surrounding environment. Furthermore, he was able to demonstrate similarities between insect and mammal brains.

Nicholas is both a skilled scientist and science communicator, having written two textbooks as well as a groundbreaking monograph on insect brains. He is currently Regents Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Arizona, in addition to being Director of the university’s Center for Insect Science. He co-edits the journal Arthropod Structure & Development.

Professional positions

Director, Center for Insect Science, University of Arizona
Regents Professor, Department of Neuroscience, Division of Neurobiology, University of Arizona

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Anatomy, physiology and neurosciences
    • Behavioural neuroscience
  • Organismal biology, evolution and ecology
    • Organismal biology (including invertebrate and vertebrate zoology), Evolution
  • Other
    • History of science


Brains, evolution,  Chengjiang biota, visual system funtion, science history, brain homologies

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