Prof. Dr. Andrew Straw - Curriculum vitae

Contact Details

Address:Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Institute of Biology I and Bernstein Center Freiburg
Hauptstr. 1
79104 Freiburg
Andrew Straw
Andrew Straw office: +49 761 203 67685
Andrew Straw mobile: +49 1575 88 78729
Admin phone: +49 761 203 2539

Positions, awards and degrees

since 2016Professor, Institute of Biology I & Member, Bernstein Center Freiburg, University of Freiburg, Germany
2012-2017ERC Starting Grant FlyVisualCircuits
2010-2015IMP Fellow, Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP), Vienna, Austria
2004-2010Postdoc, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA
2004Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Adelaide, Australia
1997Bachelor of Science, Biological Sciences, Magna Cum Laude, University of Southern California, USA



Alonso San Alberto D, Rusch C, Zhan Y, Straw AD, Montell C, Riffell JA. The olfactory gating of visual preferences to human skin and colors in mosquitoes. bioRxiv (2021) doi:10.1101/2021.07.26.453916
Vo-Doan TT, Straw AD. Millisecond insect tracking system. arXiv (2020) arXiv:2002.12100 Video on YouTube
Poehlmann A*, Soselisa S*, Fenk LM, Straw AD. A unifying model to predict multiple object orienting behaviors in tethered flies. bioRxiv (2018) doi:10.1101/379651

Peer reviewed journal articles

30. Straw AD. Review of methods for animal videography using camera systems that automatically move to follow the animal. Integrative and Comparative Biology (2021) doi:10.1093/icb/icab126
29. Fernández A, Straw A, Distel M, Leitgeb R, Baltuska A, Verhoef AJ. Dynamic real-time subtraction of stray-light and background for multiphoton imaging. Biomedical Optics Express 12(1), 288-302 (2021) doi:10.1364/BOE.403255
28. Linneweber GA, Andriatsilavo M, Dutta SB, Bengochea M, Hellbruegge L, Liu G, Ejsmont RK, Straw AD, Wernet M, Hiesinger PR, Hassan B. A neurodevelopmental origin of behavioral individuality in the Drosophila visual system. Science 367(6482), 1112-1119 (2020) doi:10.1126/science.aaw7182 []
27. Dakin R*, Segre PS*, Straw AD, Altshuler DL. Morphology, muscle capacity, skill, and maneuvering ability in hummingbirds. Science 359(6376), 653-657 (2018) doi:10.1126/science.aao7104
26. Stowers JR*, Hofbauer M*, Bastien R, Griessner J⁑, Higgins P⁑, Farooqui S⁑, Fischer RM, Nowikovsky K, Haubensak W, Couzin ID, Tessmar-Raible K✎, Straw AD✎. Virtual Reality for Freely Moving Animals. Nature Methods 14, 995–1002 (2017) doi:10.1038/nmeth.4399 [FreemoVR website] [link] [read online]
25. Segre PS*, Dakin R*, Read TJG, Straw AD, Altshuler DL. Mechanical constraints on flight at high elevation decrease maneuvering performance of hummingbirds. Current Biology 26(24), 3368-3374 (2016) doi:10.1016/j.cub.2016.10.028
24. Panser K*, Tirian L*, Schulze F*, Villalba S, Jefferis GSXE, Bühler K, Straw AD. Automatic segmentation of Drosophila neural compartments using GAL4 expression data reveals novel visual pathways. Current Biology 26(15), 1943-1954 (2016) doi:10.1016/j.cub.2016.05.052 See also the braincode website. Open-Access Link. Pre-print on bioRxiv.
23. Segre P, Dakin R, Zordan VB, Dickinson MH, Straw AD, Altshuler DL. Burst muscle performance predicts the speed, acceleration, and turning performance of Anna's hummingbirds. eLife 4, e11159 (2015) doi:10.7554/eLife.11159
22. Fenk LM*, Poehlmann A*, Straw AD. Asymmetric processing of visual motion for simultaneous figure and background responses. Current Biology 24(24), 2913-2919 (2014) doi:10.1016/j.cub.2014.10.042
21. Bath DE*, Stowers JR*, Hörmann D, Poehlmann A, Dickson BJ✎, Straw AD✎. FlyMAD: Rapid thermogenetic control of neuronal activity in freely-walking Drosophila. Nature Methods 11(7), 756-762 (2014) doi:10.1038/nmeth.2973
20. Stowers JR, Fuhrmann A, Hofbauer M, Streinzer M, Schmid A, Dickinson MH, Straw AD. Reverse engineering animal vision with virtual reality and genetics. Computer 47(7), 38-45 (2014) doi:10.1109/MC.2014.190
19. Dell AI, Bender JA, Branson K, Couzin ID, de Polavieja GG, Noldus LPJJ, Perez-Escudero A, Perona P, Straw AD, Wikelski M, Brose U. The role of automated tracking in ecology. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 29(7), 417-428 (2014) doi:10.1016/j.tree.2014.05.004
18. Fuller SB, Straw AD, Peek MY, Murray RM, Dickinson MH. Flying Drosophila stabilize their vision-based velocity controller by sensing wind with their antennae. PNAS (2014) doi:10.1073/pnas.1323529111
17. Censi A*, Straw AD*, Sayaman RW, Murray RM, Dickinson MH. Discriminating external and internal causes for heading changes in freely flying Drosophila. PLOS Computational Biology 9(2), 1-14 (2013) doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002891
16. Zantke J, Ishikawa-Fujiwara T, Arboleda E, Lohs C, Shipany K, Hallay N, Straw AD, Todo T, Tessmar-Raible K. Circadian and circalunar clock interactions in a marine annelid. Cell Reports (2013) doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2013.08.031
15. Straw AD, Branson K, Neumann TR, Dickinson MH. Multicamera Realtime 3D Tracking of Multiple Flying Animals. Journal of The Royal Society Interface 8(11), 395-409 (2011) doi:10.1098/rsif.2010.0230
14. Mamiya A, Straw AD, Tómasson E, Dickinson MH. Active and Passive Antennal Movements during Visually Guided Steering in Flying Drosophila. Journal of Neuroscience (2011) doi:10.​1523/​JNEUROSCI.​0498-11.​2011
13. Straw AD, Lee S, Dickinson MH. The visual control of altitude in flying Drosophila. Current Biology 20(17), 1550-1556 (2010) doi:10.1016/j.cub.2010.07.025
12. Robie AA, Straw AD, Dickinson MH. Object preference by walking fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster, is mediated by vision and graviperception. Journal of Experimental Biology (2010) doi:10.1242/jeb.041749
11. Maimon G, Straw AD, Dickinson MH. Active flight increases the gain of visual motion processing in Drosophila. Nature Neuroscience 13(3), 393-399 (2010) doi:10.1038/nn.2492
10. Straw AD, Dickinson MH. Motmot, an open-source toolkit for realtime video acquisition and analysis. Source Code Biol Med 4(5) (2009) doi:10.1186/1751-0473-4-5
9. Fry SN, Rohrseitz N, Straw AD, Dickinson MH. Visual flight speed control in Drosophila melanogaster. J Exp Biol (2009) doi:10.1242/jeb.020768
8. Straw AD, Rainsford T, O'Carroll DC. Contrast sensitivity of insect motion detectors to natural images. Journal of Vision (2008) doi:10.1167/8.3.32
7. Straw AD. Vision Egg: An Open-Source Library for Realtime Visual Stimulus Generation. Front Neuroinformatics 2(4) (2008) doi:10.3389/neuro.11.004.2008
6. Maimon G, Straw AD, Dickinson MH. A simple vision-based algorithm for decision making in flying Drosophila. Current Biology (2008) doi:10.1016/j.cub.2008.02.054
5. Dickson WB, Straw AD, Dickinson MH. Integrative model of Drosophila flight. AIAA Journal (2008) doi:10.2514/1.29862
4. Fry SN, Rohrseitz N, Straw AD, Dickinson MH. TrackFly: Virtual reality for a behavioral system analysis in free-flying fruit flies. J Neurosci Meth (2008) doi:10.1016/j.jneumeth.2008.02.016
3. Straw AD, Warrant EJ, O'Carroll DC. A bright zone in male hoverfly (Eristalis tenax) eyes and associated faster motion detection and increased contrast sensitivity. J Exp Biol (2006) doi:10.1242/jeb.02517
2. Shoemaker P, O'Carroll DC, Straw AD. Velocity constancy and models for wide-field motion detection in insects. Biological Cybernetics (2005) doi:10.1007/s00422-005-0007-y
1. Fry SN, Mueller P, Baumann HJ, Straw AD, Bichsel M, Robert D. Context-dependent stimulus presentation to freely moving animals in 3D. J Neurosci Meth (2004) doi:10.1016/j.jneumeth.2003.12.012

* equal contribution

⁑ equal contribution

✎ co-corresponding author

Peer reviewed conference papers

7. Han S, Censi A, Straw AD, Murray RM. A Bio-Plausible Design for Visual Pose Stabilization. Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 5679–5686 (2010) doi:10.1109/IROS.2010.5652857
6. Han S, Straw AD, Dickinson MH, Murray RM. A real-time helicopter testbed for insect-inspired visual flight control. Robotics and Automation, 2009. ICRA '09. IEEE International Conference on, 3055-3060 (2009) doi:10.1109/ROBOT.2009.5152667
5. Epstein M, Waydo S, Fuller SB, Dickson W, Straw AD, Dickinson MH, Murray RM. Biologically Inspired Feedback Design for Drosophila Flight. American Control Conference, 2007. ACC '07, 3395-3401 (2007) doi:10.1109/ACC.2007.4282971
4. Dickson W, Straw AD, Poelma C, Dickinson MH. An Integrative Model of Insect Flight Control. 44th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit (2006) doi:10.2514/6.2006-34
3. Rajesh S, Straw AD, O'Carroll DC, Abbott D. Effect of spatial sampling on pattern noise in insect-based motion detection. Proc. SPIE 5649, Smart Structures, Devices, and Systems II, 811 (March 09, 2005) (2005) doi:10.1117/12.598178
2. Rajesh S, Straw AD, O'Carroll DC, Abbott D. Effects of compressive nonlinearity on insect-based motion detection. Proc. SPIE 5649, Smart Structures, Devices, and Systems II, 798 (March 09, 2005) (2005) doi:10.1117/12.598177
1. Shoemaker PA, O'Carroll DC, Straw AD. Implementation of visual motion detection with contrast adaptation. Proc. SPIE 4591, Electronics and Structures for MEMS II, 316 (November 21, 2001) (2001) doi:10.1117/12.449162


Hellekes K, Villalba S, Stowers JR, Graf A, Panser K, Campione E, Straw AD. A dataset of 3D fly (Drosophila melanogaster) flight trajectories to study the role of neuropeptide degradation in visuo-motor behaviors. doi:10.5281/zenodo.29193 link

Online resources

Braincode website - Automatic segmentations of brain regions based on enhancer clustering. link
FlyMAD - the Fly Mind Altering Device - website. link
Models of Visual Fly Motion Detection and Behavior. link


Strand Camera - low-latency single camera acquisition and tracking software. link
Braid - multi-camera acquisition and tracking software. link
Miriam - open-source isothermal reaction instrument featuring realtime fluorescence readout in a 96-well plate format. link - Automatic image enhancement for Hydroxy naphthol blue (HNB) dyes. link
FreemoVR - Virtual Reality for Freely Moving Animals. link
Flydra - multi-camera acquisition and tracking software. link
BUI Backend - library to write user interfaces in the browser. link
VisonEgg - simple visual stimulus generation library (Python). link
PyMVG - Python Multiple View Geometry (Python). link
Models of Visual Fly Motion Detection and Behavior (Python). link
Neuron catalog web application (Javascript/Coffeescript). link
FlyMAD - the Fly Mind Altering Device source code (Python). link
Motmot Camera Utilities (Python/C/C++). link

Funding and Awards

Awards to Andrew Straw

2012-2017 ERC Starting Grant 281884 1.5M EUR
2012-2016 Vienna Science & Technology Fund (WWTF) 360K EUR (2 labs)
2014-2016 EU FP7 289941 “FLiACT” 3.1M EUR (8 labs)
2010 US AFOSR Young Investigator Award 360K USD
1998-2003 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Predoctoral Fellowship in Biological Sciences
1993-1997 University of Southern California Trustee Scholarship

Awards to lab members

2019-2021 Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellowship to Dr. Julie Gaburro
2019-2022 Human Frontier Science Program Cross-disciplinary Fellowship to Dr. T. Thang Vo Doan

Graduated Students

PhD students

2017 Andreas Poehlmann PhD, University of Vienna The role of asymmetric motion responses in Drosophila object tracking
2018 Sayan Soselisa PhD, University of Vienna Behavioral quantification of object tracking dynamics of visual interneurons in Drosophila melanogaster
2018 Etienne Campione PhD, University of Vienna Visuo-motor responses to rotation and translation in freely flying Drosophila melanogaster