Dr Dmitry Kishkinev

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship

Research interests

My research focuses on the role of different sensory systems required for animal navigation. Specifically, I address the questions of how magnetic and olfactory senses help animals finding their geographic position relative to their destinations (e.g. during migration or long-distance movement) and how the animal magnetic sensing works. The latter question is one of the greatest mysteries in current biology due to the fact that solid behavioural responses of a great deal of animal taxa prove that the ability to sense magnetic field is beyond reasonable doubt but a sensory system and magnetosensitive cells have not been described yet with certainty. 

My current Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship project aims to further study a recently discoverd phenomenon - the fact that there is a disturbing effect of human-made electromagnetic noise on the avian magnetic compass sense (see more details on this Leverhulme Trust project page).

My main model systems are both migratory songbirds and homing pigeons. I am now working towards establishing an international and interdisciplinary network of researchers to make a significant progress in demystifying the magnetic sense of animals through the use of novel approaches and by extending model systems (include genetic models such as model fish species besides historically popular birds) and by employing cutting-edge research methods (e.g. genetic editing and knock-down of candidate magnetosensitive genes). I would be happy to consider any suggestions for collaboration.