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Photo of Michael Dickinson MICHAEL DICKINSON

Michael Dickinson was born in Seaford, Delaware in 1963, but spent most of his youth in Baltimore and Philadelphia. He went to college at Brown University, originally with the intent of majoring in Visual Arts (sculpture), but eventually switched to Neurobiology, driven by a fascination for the mechanisms that underlie animal behavior. While in college, he worked with Dr. Chuck Lent on the roles of neurons and neurotransmitters in the control of leech feeding behavior.
Michael received a Ph.D. in Zoology (1989) at the University of Washington in Seattle. His dissertation project focused on the physiology of sensory cells on the wings of flies. It was this study of wing sensors that led to an interest in insect flight aerodynamics, and flight control circuitry. Michael worked briefly in Tuebingen, Germany, where he started his experimental studies on flight aerodynamics, before beginning as an assistant professor at the University of Chicago in 1991. He moved to Berkeley in 1996, and is now an associate professor in the Department of Integrative Biology. Since starting his own lab, Michael has attempted to study the flight behavior of insects simultaneously at several levels of analysis, in an attempt to integrate cellular physiology, biomechanics, aerodynamics, and behavior.

See Michael Dickinson's answers to Ask the Scientists questions.


Scientific American Frontiers
Fall 1990 to Spring 2000
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