Hans Smid's research focuses on natural variation in learning and memory formation and on brain size plasticity in parasitic wasps
Natural variation in associative learning in parasitic wasp species: Tailor-made memory
Parasitic wasps lay their eggs into the eggs, larvae of pupae of other insects. They can use a variety of cues to forage for their hosts, and learn to remember cues that were experienced upon a host encounter, so called oviposition learning. For instance, wasps that parasitize caterpillars remember the odours of host plants where the caterpillars were feeding on. Considerable variation in learning and memory formation has been observed between different parasitic wasp species; some species learn slowly, whereas other, closely related species learn fast. These observations led to the concept of "tailor-made memory"; each species adapts its learning rate and memory formation to species-specific ecological parameters that determine factors such as the reliability and value of the reward. My aim is to find how the observed differences in (host) searching behaviour are reflected in differences at the central and peripheral nervous system. The research goes from behaviour to molecule, and combines neurobiology with evolutionary ecology. For my research, wasps are used mainly from the genera Cotesia, Nasonia and Trichogramma.
Species- and size-related differences in dopamine-like immunoreactive clusters in the brain of Nasonia vitripennis and N. giraulti
Cell and Tissue Research (2019). - ISSN 0302-766X - 13 p.
The Jewel Wasp Standard Brain: Average shape atlas and morphology of the female Nasonia vitripennis brain
Arthropod Structure & Development 51 (2019). - ISSN 1467-8039 - p. 41 - 51.
No gains for bigger brains: Functional and neuroanatomical consequences of relative brain size in a parasitic wasp
Journal of Evolutionary Biology (2019). - ISSN 1010-061X
Integrating parasitoid olfactory conditioning in augmentative biological control: Potential impact, possibilities, and challenges
Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 7 (2019). - ISSN 2296-701X
Data from: No gains for bigger brains: functional and neuroanatomical consequences of relative brain size in a parasitic wasp
Dystrophin is required for normal synaptic gain in the Drosophila olfactory circuit
Brain Research 1712 (2019). - ISSN 0006-8993 - p. 158 - 166.
Costs of persisting unreliable memory : Reduced foraging efficiency for free-flying parasitic wasps in a wind tunnel
Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 6 (2018)OCT. - ISSN 2296-701X
Data from: Selection for associative learning of color stimuli reveals correlated evolution of this learning ability across multiple stimuli and rewards.
Automated high-throughput individual tracking system for insect behavior : Applications on memory retention in parasitic wasps
Journal of Neuroscience Methods 309 (2018). - ISSN 0165-0270 - p. 208 - 217.
Differential effects of brain size on memory performance in parasitic wasps
Animal Behaviour 141 (2018). - ISSN 0003-3472 - p. 57 - 66.