When a fly buzzes around someone's head, they might shoo it away. If it is particularly annoying they might even swat at it. Michael Dickenson is not most people, he is a bioengineer and neuroscientist who has studied the aerodynamic feats of fruit flies for decades, specifically their sensory processing and flight control abilities, to better understand the inner workings of complex systems.
Dickinson's work endeavors to understand the complex biology of flies, the inner workings of their brains, the way fluids flow in their vascular systems, and the way their bodies are constructed. He is focused on understanding the how and why that drives flies.
The community, students and faculty are invited to hear about Dickinson's celebrated research in his free Discover Science Lecture Series presentation at the University of Nevada, Reno campus Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m.
Dickinson's audiences are fascinated by his illumination of the essential aspects of insect behavior, physiology and evolution. He is professor of biology and bioengineer¬ing at the California Institute of Technology and has won numerous awards, including the Larry Sandler Award from the Genetics Society of America and the Bartholemew Award for Comparative Physiology from the American Society of Zoologists.
He has received multiple awards for his work, including honors from the MacArthur Fellows Program and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
The lecture series, in its sixth year, was founded by the University's College of Science with the aim of bringing top scientists from around the United States to the University to share their knowledge with the community.
As a speaker in the series, Dickinson joins such previous scientific luminaries as renowned astrophysicists Michio Kaku and Neil deGrasse Tyson, Robert Ballard, who discovered the wreck of the Titanic, and Bill Nye the Science Guy.
Dickinson's lecture will be held in the Redfield Auditorium in the Davidson Mathematics and Science Center on the University campus. Free parking for the event can be found at the top level of the Brian J. Whalen Parking Complex on North Virginia Street, next to the new E. L. Wiegand Fitness Center. Admission is free. For more information, call 775-784-4591.