We study how biological systems compute, and how computations are implemented in molecular, neuronal and network mechanisms by examining how flies navigate their chemical environments. Chemical navigation involves many non-trivial computations and therefore provides a quantitative framework for discovering how brains compute. We recently discovered that fly use their olfactory system to detect the motion of odors using computations similar to those used by the visual system to detect motion. We are examining how flies integrate odor motion detection with other olfactory cues to modulate goal-oriented navigation. We thrive to provide a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment where everyone can be successful.
Thierry Emonet received his MS degree in physics from ETH Zürich, and his PhD in theoretical astrophysics from the University of La Laguna (Spain) in 1998, before doing postdocs at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder CO and The University of Chicago, discovering key mechanisms that enable magnetic fields to float to the surface of the Sun to create Sunspots. During his postdoc Thierry became fascinated with the question of where individuality comes from and what is its functional role in life and he switched to biology. He came to Yale in 2007 and is now Full professor in MCDB and Physics. Thierry grew up at the intersection of science and art. His spouse is the renowned sculptor Susan Clinard and he has two sons.
Walking Drosophila navigate complex plumes using stochastic decisions biased by the timing of odor encounterseLife (2020)
Sensing complementary temporal features of odor signals enhances navigation of diverse turbulent plumeseLife (2022)