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The University of Southampton
Southampton Neuroscience Group

Professor Philip Newland BSc, PhD

Emeritus Professor of Neuroscience

Professor Philip Newland's photo

Professor Philip Newland is Emeritus Professor of Neuroscience within Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Career History

2018-present: Emeritus Professor of Neuroscience. University of Southampton, UK.
Professor of Neuroscience. University of Southampton, UK.
2013-2016: Associate Dean for Internationalisation (FNES). University of Southampton, UK.
2004-2008: Reader. Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, UK.
2001-2004: Senior Lecturer. Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, UK.
1997-2001: BBSRC Senior Research Fellow. University of Southampton, UK.
1996-1997: BBSRC Senior Research Fellow, University of Cambridge, UK.
1988-1996: Postdoctoral Research Associate. University of Cambridge, UK.
1986-1987: JSPS Research Fellow. Hokkaido University, Japan.

Academic Qualifications

1985: PhD in Neuroethology. University of Glasgow, UK.
1981: BSc Zoology. University of Glasgow, UK.

Professor Phil Newland graduated in Zoology from the University of Glasgow where he also studied for his PhD in Neuroethology. He then went to work at Hokkaido University in Japan on the neural basis of crayfish equilibrium behaviour. He returned to England in 1988 as a Senior Research Associate at Cambridge University analysing the integrative properties of neuronal circuits in arthropods before joining Southampton in 1997.

Research interests

In the Insect Neuroscience lab we use insects to address issues of fundamental importance for all animals. Within this broad framework, research in the lab is varied and multidisciplinary and utilizes different invertebrate model systems to understand particular features of the organization of neuronal networks and how different types of constituent interneurons contribute to the processing of different sensory signals. Our work links with three main University research themes; neuroscience, the life science interface and health and the environment. The model insect we use depends on the specific question being addressed, but includes locusts, the fruit fly, cockroaches and ants.

Research group

Plants and Food Security

Affiliate research groups

Ecology and Evolution, Neuroscience, Institute for Life Sciences (IfLS), Southampton Neuroscience Group (SoNG)

Research project(s)

Modelling neural responses

Insects are able to produce precise movements of their limbs even though the numbers of neurones present are many orders of magnitude less than in mammals.

Muscle models with applications

How can we improve existing muscle models and use these to detect the effect of therapies, medicines, and any other external factor on muscle performances?

Effects of electric fields on animal behaviour

Animals show species-specific behavioural responses to electrical fields that are dependent upon the type of electric field and species involved

Taste coding and modulation in the locust

Understanding how tastes are encoded by networks of neurones in insects not only provides us with a greater understanding of sensory processing and integration in the central nervous system, but also an understanding of how pest species select food and avoid noxious chemicals.

Modelling of the neuronal responses of identified motor neurons across animals

Investigating the combined effects of environmental pollutants

Generating a light-, noise- and electromagnetic radiation-scape of the Southampton area in relation to areas used by bats and their prey will enable us to visualise the complex relationships between ecologically important species and pollutants, whilst simultaneously bridging the gaps in our knowledge of what constitutes as disturbance to these cryptic species. Consequently, this study will catalyse the improvement of mitigation strategies to be employed during urban development projects.

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Additional publications

Schuppe, H., Cuttle, M. and Newland, P.L. (2007). Nitric oxide modulates sodium taste via a cGMP-independent pathway. J. Neurobiol. 67:212-232.

Newland, P.L and. Yates, P.I. (2007). Nitrergic modulation of an oviposition digging rhythm of locusts. J. Exp. Biol. 210:4448-4456.

Gaaboub, I. , Schuppe, H. and Newland, P.L. (2005). Receptor sensitivity underlies variability of chemosensory evoked avoidance movements of the legs of locusts. J. Comp. Physiol. 191: 281-289.

Professor Philip Newland
Biological Sciences
Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences
Life Sciences Building 85
University of Southampton
Highfield Campus
SO17 1BJ

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