The University of Western Australia

UWA Staff Profile

Ipsum Lorem

Jan Hemmi

Dr Jan Hemmi

Senior Lecturer
Biological Sciences, School of

Contact details
Address
School of Biological Sciences
The University of Western Australia (M092)
35 Stirling Highway
CRAWLEY WA 6009
Australia
Phone
+61 8 6488 3117
Fax
+61 8 6488 7527
Email
jan.hemmi@uwa.edu.au
Qualifications
PhD ANU
Biography
I was born and brought up in Switzerland where I studied biology at the University of Zürich with a focus on Ethology (animal behaviour). At that time I was particularly interested in cognitive and social processes in primates and horses. In 1994 I came to Australia to do my PhD in the Developmental Neurobiology group at the ANU. My project explored the relationship between the structure and function of the tammar wallaby's visual system. The unusual photoreceptor topography I observed in these animals sparked my interest in visual ecology. After the completion of my PhD I joined the Visual Sciences group (ANU) where I began work on the ecology of visual information processing in fiddler crabs. I joined UWA in 2012 to work on the visual control of behaviour in fiddler crabs. The relationship between sensory processing and animal behaviour is the main focus of my research group. Much of our work is highly comparative and involves a range of different animals. We work on ants and crabs to crocodiles, lizards, fish, sharks and dunnarts.
Key research
Vision
Neural control of behaviour
Animal behaviour
Sensory ecology
Publications
2017
Ogawa Y, Ribi W, Zeil J & Hemmi JM (2017) Regional differences in the preferred e-vector orientation of honeybee ocellar photoreceptors. Journal of Experimental Biology. 220, 1701-1708
Ryan LA, Hemmi JM, Collin SP, Hart NS (2017) Pysiological measures of temporal resolution, contrast sensitivity and spatial resolving power in sharks Journal of Comparative Physiology A 203, 197-210
Spiller L, Grierson PF, Davies PM, Hemmi JM, Collin, SP, Kelley JL (2017) Functional diversity of the lateral line system among populations of a native Australian freshwater fish Journal of Experimental Biology 220, 2265-2276
Warrington RE, Hart NS, Potter IC, Collin SP, Hemmi JM (2017) Retinal temporal resolution and contrast sensitivity in the parasitic lamprey Mordacia mordax and its non-parasitic derivative M. praecox. Journal of Experimental Biology 220, 1245-1255
2016
Ryan LA, Hart NS, Collin SP, Hemmi JM. (2016) Visual resolution and contrast sensitivity in two benthic sharks. Journal of Experimental Biology in press
Nagloo, N, Collin SP, Hemmi JM, and Hart NS. (2016) Spatial resolving power and spectral sensitivity of the saltwater crocodile, Crocodylus porosus, and the freshwater crocodile, Crocodylus johnstoni. Journal of Experimental Biology 219, 1394-1404
Stürzl W, Zeil J, Boeddeker N, Hemmi JM (2016). How wasps acquire and use views for homing. Current Biology doi:10.1016/j.cub.2015.12.052
2015
Ryan LA, Meeuwig JJ, Hemmi JM, Collin SP, Hart NS (2015) It is not just size that matters: shark cruising speeds are species-specific. Marine Biology 162, 1307-1318
Ogawa Y, Falkowski M, Narendra A, Zeil J, Hemmi JM (2015) Three spectrally distinct photoreceptors in diurnal and nocturnal Australian ants. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 282, 20150673
How MJ, Christy JH, Temple SE, Hemmi JM, Marshall NJ, Roberts NW (2015) Target Detection Is Enhanced by Polarization Vision in a Fiddler Crab. Current Biology doi:10.1016/j.cub.2015.10.047
Hemmi JM, Tomsic D (2015) Differences in the escape response of a grapsid crab in the field and in the laboratory. Journal of Experimental Biology 218, 3499-3507
Amarasinghe R, Poldy J, Matsuba Y, Barrow R, Hemmi JM, Pichersky E, Peakall R (2015) UV-B light contributes directly to the synthesis of chiloglottone floral volatiles Annals of Botany 115, 693-703
2014
Vlahos LM, Knott B, Valter K & Hemmi JM (2014) Photoreceptor topography and spectral sensitivity in the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) Journal of Comparative Neurology DOI: 10.1002/cne.23610
Zeil J, Hemmi JM (2014) Path Integration, Vision and Decision-making in Fiddler Crabs. In Derby C & Thiel M (eds) Crustacean Nervous Systems and their Control of Behavior, Oxford University Press, in press
Ebeling W, Hemmi JM (2014) Dichromatic Colour Vision in Wallabies as Characterised by Three Behavioural Paradigms. PLoS ONE 9: e86531. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086531
2013
Cummins N, Bartlett CA, Archer M, Bartlett E, Hemmi JM, Harvey AR, Dunlop SA, Fitzgerald M (2013) Changes to mitochondrial ultrastructure in optic nerve vulnerable to secondary degeneration in vivo are limited by irradiation at 670 nm., BMC Neuroscience 14 98- DOI:10.1186/1471-2202-14-98
Smolka J, Raderschall CA, Hemmi JM (2013) Flicker is part of a multi-cue response criterion in fiddler crab predator avoidance. Journal of Experimental Biology 216 1219-1224
2012
How MJ, Pignatelli V, Temple SE, Marshall J, Hemmi JM (2012) High e-vector acuity in the polarisation vision system of the fiddler
crab Uca vomeris, Journal of Experimental Biology 215 2128-2133
Hemmi JM, Tomsic D (2012) The neuroethology of escape in crabs: from sensory ecology to neurons and back. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 22 194-200
New STD, Hemmi JM, Kerr, GD, Bull CM (2012) Ocular anatomy and retinal photoreceptors in a skink, the sleepy lizard (Tiliqua rugosa). Anatomical Record 295 1727-1735
2011
Narendra A, Reid SF, Greiner B, Peters RA, Hemmi JM, Ribi WA, Zeil, J (2011) Caste-specific visual adaptations to distinct daily activity schedules in Australian Myrmecia ants. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 278 1141-1149
Raderschall CA, Magrath RD, Hemmi, JM (2011) Habituation under natural conditions: model predators are distinguished by approach direction. Journal of Experimental Biology 214 4209-4216
Reid SF, Narendra A, Hemmi JM & Zeil J. (2011) Polarised skylight and the landmark panorama provide night active bull ants with compass information during route following. Journal of Experimental Biology 214 363-370
Smolka J, Zeil J, Hemmi JM (2011) Natural visual cues eliciting predator avoidance in fiddler crabs. Proceedings of the Royal Society B doi: 10.1098/rspb.2010.2746
2010
Boeddeker N, Hemmi JM (2010) Visual gaze control during peering flight manoeuvres in Honeybees. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 277 1209-1217
Ebeling W, Natoli RC, Hemmi JM (2010) Diversity of colour vision: not all Australian marsupials are trichromatic PLoS ONE 5(12): e14231. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014231
Hemmi JM, Pfeil A (2010) A multi-stage anti-predator response increases information on predation risk Journal of Experimental Biology 213 1484–1489
Narendra A, Reid SF, Hemmi JM (2010) The twilight zone: ambient light levels trigger activity in primitive ants Proceedings of the Royal Society B 277 1531–1538
Zeil J, Hemmi JM (2010) Crabs and their visual world. In Breed M, Moore J (eds) The Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior. Elsevier Volume 1, Academic Press, Oxford, pp 411-420
2009
Hemmi JM, Merkle, T (2009) High stimulus specificity characterises anti-predator habituation under natural conditions. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 276 4381-4388
Smolka J, Hemmi JM (2009) Topography of vision and behaviour. Journal of Experimental Biology 212 3522–3532
Zeil J, Hemmi JM (2009) The topography of vision. Kagaku 79 667-673 (invited review, translated to Japanese)
How MJ, Zeil J, Hemmi JM (2009) Variability of a dynamic visual signal: the fiddler crab claw-waving display. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 195 55-67
Zeil J, Boeddeker N, Hemmi JM (2009) Visually Guided Behavior. In Squire LR (ed) New Encyclopaedia of Neuroscience, Elsevier, Oxford pp 369-380
2008
Detto T, Hemmi JM, Backwell PRY (2008) Colouration and colour changes of the fiddler crab, Uca capricornis: A descriptive study. PLoS ONE 3(2): e1629 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001629
How MJ, Hemmi JM (2008) Courtship herding in the fiddler crab Uca elegans: Tracking control system. Animal Behaviour 76 1259-1265
How MJ, Hemmi JM (2008) Courtship herding in the fiddler crab Uca elegans. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 194 1053-1061
How JM, Hemmi JM, Zeil J, Peters R (2008) Claw waving display changes with receiver distance in fiddler crabs, Uca perplexa. Animal Behaviour 75 1015-1022
Zeil J, Boeddeker N, Hemmi JM (2008) Vision and the organisation of behaviour. Current Biology 18 R320–323
Peters R, Hemmi JM, Zeil J (2008) Image motion environments: background noise for movement-based animal signals. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 194 441-456
2007
Hemmi JM, Zeil J (2007) The Ecology of Information Processing. In Connell SD & Gillanders BM (eds) Marine Ecology, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 441-442
How MJ, Zeil J, Hemmi JM (2007) Differences in context and function of two distinct waving displays in the fiddler crab, Uca perplexa (Decapoda: Ocypodidae). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 62 137-148
Peters R, Hemmi JM, Zeil J (2007) Signalling against the wind: modifying motion signal structure in response to increased noise. Current Biology 17 1231-1234
Zeil J, Boeddeker N, Hemmi JM, Stürzl W (2007) Going Wild: Toward an Ecology of Visual Information Processing. In North G & Greenspan R (eds) Invertebrate Neurobiology, Cold Spring Harbor Press, New York, pp 381-403
2006
Detto T, Backwell PRY, Hemmi JM, Zeil J (2006) Visually mediated species and neighbour recognition in fiddler crabs (Uca mjoebergi and Uca capricornis). Proceedings of the Royal Society B 273 1661-1666
Hemmi JM, Marshall J, Pix W, Vorobyev M, Zeil J (2006) The variable colours of the fiddler crab Uca vomeris and their relation to background and predation. Journal of Experimental Biology 209 4140-4153
Vladusich T, Hemmi JM, Zeil J (2006) Honeybee odometry and scent guidance. Journal of Experimental Biology, 209 1367-1375
Zeil J, Hemmi JM (2006) The visual ecology of fiddler crabs. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 192 1-25
Zeil J, Hemmi JM, Backwell PRY. (2006) Quick Guide: Fiddler Crabs. Current Biology 16 R40-R41
2005
Hemmi JM (2005) Predator avoidance in fiddler crabs. 1: Predator avoidance in fiddler crabs: 1. Escape decisions in relation to the risk of predation. Animal Behaviour 69 603-614
Hemmi JM (2005) Predator avoidance in fiddler crabs. 2: The visual cues involved. Animal Behaviour 69 615-625
Hemmi JM, Zeil J (2005) Animals as prey: perceptual limitations and behavioural options. Marine Ecology Progress Series 287 274-278
Vladusich T, Hemmi JM, Srinivasan MV, Zeil J (2005) Interactions of visual odometry and landmark guidance during food search in honeybees. Journal of Experimental Biology 208 4123-4135
2003
Hemmi JM, Zeil J (2003) Burrow surveillance in fiddler crabs. 1: Description of behaviour. Journal of Experimental Biology 206, 3935-3950
Hemmi JM, Zeil J (2003) Burrow surveillance in fiddler crabs. 2: The sensory cues. Journal of Experimental Biology 206 3951-3961
Hemmi JM, Zeil J (2003) Robust judgement of inter-object distance by an arthropod. Nature 421 160-163
2002
Hemmi JM, James A, Taylor WR (2002) Colour opponent retinal ganglion cells in the tammar wallaby retina. Journal of Vision 2 608-617, http://journalofvision.org/2/9/3/, DOI 10.1167/2.9.3
2000
Hemmi JM, Maddess T, Mark RF (2000) Spectral sensitivity of photoreceptors in an Australian marsupial, the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii). Vision Research 40 591-599
1999
Hemmi JM (1999) Dichromatic colour vision in an Australian Marsupial, the tammar wallaby. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 185 509-515
Hemmi JM, Grünert U (1999) Distribution of photoreceptor types in the retina of a marsupial, the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii). Visual Neurosciences 16 291-302
1998
Hemmi JM, Mark RF (1998) Visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and retinal magnification in a marsupial, the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii). Journal of Comparative Physiology A 183 379-387
Maddess T, Hemmi JM, James AC (1998) Evidence for spatial aliasing effects in the Y-like cells of the magnocellular visual pathway. Vision Research 38 1843-1859
Hemmi JM (1998) The performance of the visual system in relation to retinal structure and function in an Australian marsupial, the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii).
PhD, Developmental Neurobiology, Research School of Biological Sciences, The Australian National University
Hemmi JM, Menzel CR (1995) Foraging strategies of long-tailed macaques, Macaca fascicularis: directional 1995
extrapolation. Animal Behaviour 49 457-464
Hemmi JM (1993) Foraging strategies of long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis): directional extrapolation. Diplomarbeit Abteilung für Ethologie und Wildforschung, Zoologisches Institut, Universität Zürich
1992
Ward PI, Hemmi JM, Röösli T (1992) Sexual conflict in the dung fly Sepsis cynipsea. Functional Ecology 6 649-653
Roles, responsibilities and expertise
Roles
- Honours coordinator School of Animal Biology
- Academic editor PLOS ONE
- UWA CMCA's Scientific Advisory Committee member
- Member Editorial Advisory Board Journal of Experimental Biology

Research Techniques
- Analysis of animal behaviour: Field and laboratory work (macaques, wallabies, possums, dunnarts, flies, bees, lizards, ants, crabs)
- Spectrographic imaging and measurements
- Quantitative video film analysis, Multiple camera calibration / alignment
- Immunocytochemistry (retinal wholemounts, tammar wallaby)
- Microspectrophotometry (MSP) (tammar wallaby, spotted quoll)
- Electrophysiology: Electroretinogram recordings (ERG), Visual Evoked Potentials (VEP) and Patch clamp recordings (tammar wallaby), Intracellular recordings (crabs)
- Extensive experience in multivariate statistical analysis and experimental design including: Multiple regression, Generalised linear regression, Generalised Linear Mixed Models, Residual Maximum Likelihood Analysis, Permutation analysis

Major software design
- Digi: A sophisticated C/Matlab based analogue/digital video analysis system. The x-y-position analysis of video sequences includes automated frame by frame tracking of individual objects and their orientation. Includes detailed labelling of behaviours and extensive search capabilities.
- Digilite: A free, simplified, fully Matlab based version of DIGI developed together with Robert Parker.
- C-program (Linux) for the control of an operant conditioning apparatus for visual discrimination experiments.
Funding received
2018-2020 “Polarization vision: insights from biological systems for imaging solutions“
Hemmi, Partridge, How– ARC DP180100491 $394,402
2016-2018 “RoboCrab: An integrative approach to understanding natural escape decisions“ Hemmi, Partridge, Webb – ARC DP160102658 $437,500
2016 “Xenotec OcuScience ERG System (Electroretinogram) “
Chen, Hunt, Forrester, Degli-Esposti, Hemmi, Andoniou, dos Santos Carvalho - NHMRC
2014-2016 “Transcriptome sequencing and functional characterisation of craniate non-visual sensory systems and their adaptation to diverse light environments” Davies, Hunt, Carter, Hemmi & Partridge– ARC DP140102117 $380,000
2013 “A case of mistaken identity? Why do sharks attack humans?” Hart, Hemmi & Ryan– SWRRFI research grant $11,000
2011-2014 “Neuro-ecology: information processing under natural conditions” FT110100528 Hemmi – ARC Future Fellowship $711,993
2010-2013 “Insect Hovering Flight” Zeil, Hemmi – Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) $219,000
2010 Three month visiting fellowship grant for Dr J. Douglass – ARC Centre of Excellence in Vision Science $8,000
2009 Two month visiting fellowship grant for Mr. Olle Lind – Centre for Visual Sciences $4,500
2008 Two month visiting post-doc Fellowship grant for Dr. Richard Peters – Centre for Visual Sciences $8,000
2007 Three month visiting fellowship grant Dr. Tobias Merkle – Centre for Visual Sciences $8,000
2007 Three high intensity tuneable light sources and accessories – ARC Centre of Excellence in Vision Science $85,000
2005-2007 “To flee or not to flee: surviving on incomplete information” DP0558038 Hemmi, Zimmer, Zeil, ARC Discovery Project $265,000
2005 Synchronized, medium Hi-Speed Firewire 3-Camera system- Centre for Visual Sciences $16,000
2003 Ocean Optics spectrograph Hemmi, Zeil - IAS-PPF Fund for Biotechnology $8,000
Languages
English
German
Memberships
International Society of Neuroethology
Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour
Honours and awards
2011 ARC Future Fellowship
2009 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Innovation & Excellence in Service Quality
2008 Fellowship ARC Centre of Excellence in Vision Science, 3 years
2002 Fellowship Centre for Visual Sciences, ANU, 12 months
2000 Fellowship Swiss National Science Foundation, 2.5 years
1999 Fellowship Swiss National Science Foundation, 1 year
1999 Fellowship Janggen Pöhn Stiftung (1 year, not taken up)
1998 Fellowship Centre for Visual Sciences, ANU, 9 months
1994 Overseas Postgraduate Research Scholarship, DEET, Australia
1994 Australian National University PhD Scholarship, ANU, Australia
Previous positions
2012 - 2016 ARC Future Fellow, School of Animal Biology, University of Western Australia.
2008 – 2011
Fellow, ARC Centre of Excellence in Vision Science, The Australian National University, Group leader Visual Neuroethology, Research School of Biology.

2003 - 2007
Research Fellow, Research School of Biological Sciences, Visual Sciences, The Australian National University. From 2007, Group leader Visual Neuroethology, Research School of Biology.

2002 - 2003
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Centre for Visual Sciences, The Australian National University.

2000 - 2002
Fellowship for advanced researchers, Swiss National Science Foundation, Visual Sciences, Research School of Biological Sciences, The Australian National University.

1999 - 2000
Fellowship for prospective researchers, Swiss National Science Foundation, Visual Sciences, Research School of Biological Sciences, The Australian National University.

1998 - 1999
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Centre for Visual Sciences. Visual Neurosciences, John Curtin School of Medical Research, The Australian National University.
Teaching
Coordination & teaching
BIOL1130 “Fronitiers in Biology”, 1st year course
ANIM3320 “Comparative Neurobiology”, 3rd year course

Teaching
ANIM5505 “Marine Neuroecology and Behaviour”, 4th/5th year course
ANIM3364 “Behavioural Ecology”, 3rd year course

Useful links
http://www.animals.uwa.edu.au/research/neuroecology
http://scholar.google.com.au/citations?hl=en&user=tWEgycEAAAAJ
Research profile
Research profile and publications
 

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Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM