Waiting for me on my desk, ready to start 2019 with a smile, was a hardcopy of the book Chris Petkov, my fantastic PhD advisor, and myself contributed to:
In our chapter Chris and I take a comparative perspective on voice perception and overview how recent insights from primate work advance our understanding of the neurobiology of voice perception. The book itself also highlights what makes voices special acoustically, how we use the emotions and social information contained in voices to communicate with each other, and how certain disorders change how our brain responds to voices. This is a very nice read that gives a comprehensive introduction into the exciting field of voice perception – check it out!
Last week I took part in the very first Tuebingen Neuroscience Alumni meeting as a programme speaker, along with some of my former classmates from Tuebingen University’s Graduate Training Centre of Neuroscience. It was an honour to be part of this reunion, and a great pleasure to spend a few autumn days in my favorite university town, find out about the great science planned in Tuebingen and enjoy discussions with friends old and new from academia and industry.
In swift succession over the last few weeks, Shanice handed in and viva-ed her MSc thesis, thus successfully concluding her UCL Neuroscience MSc degree. It was wonderful to have her on board this scientific adventure and she made this research avenue truly take off. I am so proud of her many achievements over the last year, and know there are many more to come.
Michael, a BSc Neuroscience student at UCL, spent his first day in the lab yesterday. He will be working with with us on mouse songs over the summer, with the support of an Undergraduate Project Scholarship from the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. I’m very happy you joined us, and curious about where your project will lead us!
Michael, a second-year BSc Neuroscience student at UCL, has been awarded an Undergraduate Project Scholarship from the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. With the support of this scholarship, Michael will join the mouse song team over the summer to study the sex-specificity of mouse vocalizations. Congratulations Michael, and I’m looking forward to working with you!
Colombine thoroughly aced her MSc thesis defense yesterday at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. I couldn’t be more proud of her and all the great work she has done in her 6 months at UCL. Working together was very productive and great fun, and I wish her lots of continued success in her next step. Also, it was quite moving to be back at my beloved alma mater as an examiner, almost exactly 10 years after defending my own thesis.
At the beginning of December, a small group of auditory neuroscientists gathered in the beautiful setting of the Royal Society’s Chicheley Hall in Buckinghamshire. Over two days of a great scientific programme curated by Andrei Kozlov (Imperial College) and Joerg Albert (UCL Ear Institute), researchers focusing on all possible stages of the auditory pathway confronted respective perspectives on the differences and similarities of hearing across species. It was a very successful meeting filled with high-quality and thought-provoking content. I enjoyed very good discussions with excellent people, received useful feedback on my work, met old friends and made new ones.
December is always an eventful month in the lab, and keeping up with the news has taken a bit of a backseat as there was much cool science to focus on! At the end of November I took a short trip to Switzerland to visit Tania Barkat’s Brain & Sound Lab at Basel University. I really enjoyed meeting this welcoming and talented team as well our good discussions of mouse auditory processing. We also laid the foundation for a fun research collaboration that I’m looking forward to taking further in the new year.
Today was Shanice’s first day at the IBN. She comes to us via the UCL Neuroscience MSc programme and is joining our growing mouse song team to work on her MSc project. I’m really happy you’re here, and thrilled to do some great science with you over the next year!