MacArthur Fellows Program

Nicholas Strausfeld

Neurobiologist | Class of 1995

Tucson, Arizona
53 at time of award
Published July 1, 1995

About Nicholas' Work

Nicholas Strausfeld, a neurobiologist, is an expert on arthropod anatomy, particularly the brains of insects.

His work has been critical in understanding how flies see and maneuver, and how their head movements are related to their flight behavior during steering.  Strausfeld’s books include Atlas of an Insect Brain (1976) and Functional Neuroanatomy (1983).  His research focuses on the analysis of higher brain centers in insects and employs structural features of the brains of invertebrates for investigating their phylogenetic relationships.  His studies of insect neuroanatomy have implications for basic and biomedical research.


He held several research positions in German laboratories including the Max Plank Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen (1971-75) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg (1975-86).  Since 1987, Strausfeld has been the Regents Professor of Neurobiology in the Arizona Research Laboratories’ Division of Neurobiology at the University of Arizona, where he holds several joint appointments, including one in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and as an Adjunct Professor of Art.

Strausfeld received a B.Sc. (1965) and a Ph.D. (1968) from the University College, London; he received his Habilitation (1985) from the University of Frankfurt, Germany.

Last updated January 1, 2005

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