Bill S. Hansson How Do Insects Use Their Sense of Smell and How Does It Function?

Bill S. Hansson is Vice President of the Max Planck Society and Director of the Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany. Furthermore, he is a guest professor and partner in the ICE3 Linnaeus research program at The Swedish University for Agricultural Sciences in Alnarp. Hansson focuses his research on neurophysiological and behavioral aspects of insect-insect and insect-plant interactions where he takes a special interest in insect olfaction. Bill Hansson is a fellow of several national and international science academies, such as the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Academia Europaea, and an Honorary Professor at Friedrich Schiller University Jena.

Area of Research

Evolutionary Neuroethology

Hany K.M. Dweck, Shimaa A.M. Ebrahim, Sophie Kromann, Deni Bown, Ylva Hillbur, Silke Sachse, Bill S. Hansson and Marcus C. Stensmyr. "Olfactory Preference for Egg Laying on Citrus Substrates in Drosophila." Current Biology 23 (2013): 2472-2480.  
Hany K.M. Dweck, Shimaa A.M. Ebrahim, Abu Farhan, Bill S. Hansson and Marcus C. Stensmyr. "Olfactory Proxy Detection of Dietary Antioxidants in Drosophila." Current Biology 25 (2015): 455-466.  
Hany K.M. Dweck, Shimaa A.M. Ebrahim, Michael Thoma, Ahmed A.M. Mohamed, Ian W. Keesey, Federica Trona, Sofia Lavista-Llanos, Aleš Svatoš, Silke Sachse, Markus Knaden and Bill S. Hansson. "Pheromones Mediating Copulation and Attraction in Drosophila." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112 (2015): E2829-E2835.  
Shimaa A.M. Ebrahim, Hany K.M. Dweck, Johannes Stökl, John E. Hofferberth, Federica Trona, Kerstin Weniger, Jürgen Rybak, Yoichi Seki, Marcus C. Stensmyr, Silke Sachse, Bill S. Hansson and Markus Knaden. "Drosophila Avoids Parasitoids by Sensing Their Semiochemicals via a Dedicated Olfactory Circuit." PLoS Biology 13 (2015): e1002318.  

since 2014

Vice President

Max Planck Society (more details)

since 2006

Director

Max Planck Society (more details)

Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology

since 2006

Guest Professor, Scientific Leader (until 2010) and Partner in the ICE3 Linnaeus Research Program

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

since 2000

Promoted Professor

Lund University

Chemical Ecology

2011-2014

Managing Director

Max Planck Society (more details)

Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology

2003-2006

Associate Dean

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Faculty for Landscape Planning Horticulture and Agricultural Sciences

2001-2006

Professor and Head of Chemical Ecology

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

1995-2001

Associate Professor

Lund University

Neurobiology

1992-1992

Associate Professor

Lund University

1990-1995

Assistant Professor

Lund University

1989-1990

Post-Doctoral Research Associate

University of Arizona

Division of Neurobiology

1988

PhD in Ecology

Lund University

1982

Bachelor in Biology

Lund University

Behavioural Ecology

Behaviour and Evolution

Brain

Cell

Cell and Tissue Research

Chemical Senses

Chemoecology

Current Biology

Entomologia experimentalis et applicata

Functional Ecology

Genomics

Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Journal of Chemical Ecology

Journal of Comparative Neurology

Journal of Comparative Physiology A

Journal of Entomological Science

Journal of Experimental Biology

Journal of Insect Physiology

Journal of Neurobiology

International Journal of Tropical Insect Science

Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience

Nature

Nature Communications

Neuron

Neuroscience Letters

Neuroscience Methods

Oikos

Physiological Entomology

Plant Biology

PLoSONE

PLoS Genetics

The European Journal for Biochemistry

The Italian Journal of Zoology

Trends in Plant Science

Trends in Genetics

Association for Chemoreception Sciences (AchemS)

European Chemoreception Research Organisation (ECRO)

European Symposium on Insect Taste and Olfaction (ESITO)

International Society for Chemical Ecology (ISCE)

Leaders in Higher Research Organisations (HIROs)

Prizes

The ISCE Silverstein-Simeone Lecture Award (2014)

BingZhi Professorship of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zoology (2013)

The AChemS Givaudan Lecture Award (2013)

The Royal Swedish Academy of Science Letterstedt Prize (2009)

The Belgian Royal Academy of Sciences JM Delwart Award in Chemical Communication (2000)

The Takasago International Research Award in Olfactory Science (1998)

Fellowships

The Royal Entomological Society (FRES; Honorary)

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (KVA)

The Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry (KSLA)

The Royal Physiographic Society in Lund, Sweden

The Saxonian Academy of Science in Leipzig, Germany

Academia Europaea

The Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters

The Wenner Gren Foundation: Optical Imaging

NFR: From Molecule to Mind

EU, Marie Curie Grant: Evolution of Olfactory Coding

NFR: From Molecule to Mind

SJFR: Flexibility in Host Choice in Insects

Carl Tryggers Stiftelse: Molekylär igenkänning i bananflugans perifera doftsinne

STINT: The Evolution of Insect Olfaction

VR: Olfactory Detection, Processing and Evolution

EU – IST: A Fleet of Artificial Chemosensing Moths

Formas: Flexibility in Host Choice in Insects

VR: 3rd International Symposium on Insect Pheromones

VR: Confocal Microscope

Formas: 3rd International Symposium on Insect Pheromones

Gyllenstiernska Krapperupstiftelsen: Olfactory Evolution

VR: Olfaction – Structure, Function and Evolution

Sida/Sarec: Efficient and Environmentally Sustainable Control of Sorghum Chafer, Pachnoda Marginata, by Mass Trappin

Formas: The Odor World of the Mosquito – Function and Manipulation

Formas: Bovine Pheromones

Formas: Semiochemical Diversity and Insect Dynamics

The Linnaeus Initiative: Insect Chemical Ecology, Ethology and Evolution

Sida/Sarec: Efficient and Environmentally Sustainable Control of Sorghum Chafer, Pachnoda Marginata, by Mass Trapping

EU: Artificial Infochemical Communication

DFG: Schwerpunkt Olfaktion

Volkswagenstiftung: Evolution of the Arthropod Olfactory System

VR: ISOT16

Formas: ISOT16

Volkswagenstiftung: Insect Chemical Ecology

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft: An Integrative Analysis of the Olfactory System in Terrestrial vs. Marine Hermit Crabs

EU Horizon 2020 FET: NanoSmell

© Maximilian Dörrbecker

Max Planck Society


"The Max Planck Society is Germany's most successful research organization. Since its establishment in 1948, no fewer than 18 Nobel laureates have emerged from the ranks of its scientists, putting it on a par with the best and most prestigious research institutions worldwide. The more than 15,000 publications each year in internationally renowned scientific journals are proof of the outstanding research work conducted at Max Planck Institutes – and many of those articles are among the most-cited publications in the relevant field." (Source)

Institute

Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology

"The Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena investigates the role, diversity and characteristics of chemical signals which control the interactions between organisms and their environment. Scientists from the fields of ecology, biochemistry, organic chemistry, entomology, ethology, and insect physiology work closely together in the Institute in order to understand the complex system of chemical communication. Their research focuses on the co-evolution of plants and insects. The fact that plants usually spend their entire lives in one place forces them to use effective strategies to guarantee that their offspring are spread and also to protect themselves against pests and diseases. To this effect, plants have developed a wide range of chemical signalling compounds that enable them to optimise their adaptation to their respective environments. These so-called allelochemicals are used to, among other things, attract pollinators, fend off herbivores and pests, fight diseases and keep unwelcome competitors away. Plants also synthesise mixtures of many organic substances that have a deterrent or toxic effect on herbivores. As a countermeasure, insects that feed on plants adapt accordingly and, for their part, try to overcome plant defences." (Source)

Map

Insects are very smell-dependent which makes them prime candidates for studying how the sense of smell works and how it influences behavior. In this video, BILL S. HANSSON describes how the research team studied the olfactory system of flies. Following the whole process from molecule detection and the reaction of the nerves to the outcome of behavior the researchers found a line in the fly's brain that identifies bad odors and leads the fly to avoid these smells as they indicate something is toxic. Because the olfactory systems of all species work in a similar way, the findings can be used to draw conclusions to the human sense of smell.

LT Video Publication DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21036/LTPUB10198

A Conserved Dedicated Olfactory Circuit for Detecting Harmful Microbes in Drosophila

  • Marcus C. Stensmyr, Hany K.M. Dweck, Abu Farhan, Irene Ibba, Antonia Strutz, Latha Mukunda, Jeanine Linz, Veit Grabe, Kathrin Steck, Sofia Lavista-Llanos, Dieter Wicher, Silke Sachse, Markus Knaden et al
  • Cell
  • Published in 2012

Chicago

Marcus C. Stensmyr, Hany K.M. Dweck, Abu Farhan, Irene Ibba, Antonia Strutz, Latha Mukunda, Jeanine Linz, Veit Grabe, Kathrin Steck, Sofia Lavista-Llanos, Dieter Wicher, Silke Sachse, Markus Knaden et al. "A Conserved Dedicated Olfactory Circuit for Detecting Harmful Microbes in Drosophila." Cell 151 (2012): 1345-1357.