Arthropod Neuroscience Network
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Arthropods, including insects and crustaceans, have been particularly successful during evolution, illustrated by the huge number of different species and their ecological distributions. Their small sizes and relatively simple and accessible nervous systems have made them convenient models for laboratory experiments as well as for field studies. Although ancestors of arthropods and us mammals have segregated more than 600 million years ago, our genome, body plan, and ground framework of the nervous systems share striking similarities with arthropods. Many universal concepts of neuroscience were achieved with the use of arthropod model systems. At the same time, research on arthropods has discovered numerous examples for unique neuronal adaptations to environmental challenges with no parallels in vertebrates. Sophisticated neuronal solutions found in arthropods have inspired technical solutions and constructions for engineering, robotics and computational neuroscience, as well as for the understanding of the states of health, disease, and possible treatment.
Aims of the ANN (Arthropod Neuroscience Network) are to foster the development of all fields of arthropod neuroscience and communication among all the researchers working in the field – from established lab heads to young students – with the regional focus on the areas in and around Europe. Historically, scientists working on the model organisms (such as the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster) and those working on other organisms tend to gather at different conferences, making it harder to exchange their knowledge. ANN tries to integrate all fields of scientists to achieve extensive cross-disciplinary communication.
- ANN Mailing List
Provides an active daily communication tool for the community. (ANN member registration required.) Topics include the announcement of diverse conferences, meetings, seminars and events in the field, job advertisement of professors, postdocs and students, queries about experimental tecuniques or resources, and general discussion.
- ANN Weekly
Zoom-based online seminar series, held every Wednesday lunch time (one talk per day), to keep the reseachers feel connected and to exchange ideas while they are in the lab or at home. (For ANN members.) Weeks that overlap with related conferences are skipped to avoid interfence.
Seminars are held mostly by young PIs, postdocs, and PhD students, giving them opportunities to give long talks to the public. We sometimes organize plenary seminars by senior and highly establishded scientists in the field. ANN Weekly has been quite effective during the isolated COVID situation, but becausde of its convenience, we will continue even after all the travel restrictions would be lifted.
- ANN Meeting
Disccusion-oriented biennial meeting to get to know each other even more. (Registration required.) Only young people will present talks and posters. Establsihed people are expected to join as toughtful discussant.
It is held in March or early April of even years to avoid conflicts with other major meetings. Meetings in 2020 and 2022 were canceled because of COVID. We believe we can re-start it from 2024.
- ANN Database
Provides the lists of people, labs, and web sites of arthropod researchers. (public)
Provides documents and information that are useful for arthropod research. (public)