Alex’s main research interests lie in how animals select behaviors and movements from the entire repertoire available to them at any time. The neural pathways for all behaviors that an animal can perform are always present, yet the nervous system successfully and reliably “selects” those that are most appropriate given the context. This involves an intricate interplay between sensory information, originating both externally and internally, and the state of the animal. Alex is curious to find which of these myriad, dynamic sensory and state signals are most relevant for the elicitation of certain behaviors and how these signals influence the underlying neuronal circuitry.
A native of the United States, Alex moved to Germany to pursue his graduate education in Neuroscience after receiving his B.S. in Zoology from Michigan State University. He earned an M.Sc. in neurosciences from the University of Bonn, after which he moved on to do a Ph.D. at the University of Cologne. His dissertation work in the Büschges Lab focused on sensorimotor integration between leg proprioceptive signals and locomotor networks.