Natasha Mhatre

Natasha Mhatre
The University of Western Ontario | UWO · Department of Biology

PhD

About

34
Publications
6,803
Reads
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347
Citations
Additional affiliations
April 2019 - March 2024
The University of Western Ontario
Position
  • Chair
November 2018 - present
The University of Western Ontario
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
December 2014 - November 2018
University of Toronto
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (34)
Article
Full-text available
Despite their small size, some insects, such as crickets, can produce high amplitude mating songs by rubbing their wings together. By exploiting structural resonance for sound radiation, crickets broadcast species-specific songs at a sharply tuned frequency. Such songs enhance the range of signal transmission, contain information about the signaler...
Article
Full-text available
http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822(13)01034-8 A dominant theme of acoustic communication is the partitioning of acoustic space into exclusive, species-specific niches to enable efficient information transfer. In insects, acoustic niche partitioning is achieved through auditory frequency filtering, brought about by the mechanica...
Article
Full-text available
Tree cricket males produce tonal songs, used for mate attraction and male–male interactions. Active mechanics tunes hearing to conspecific song frequency. However, tree cricket song frequency increases with temperature, presenting a problem for tuned listeners. We show that the actively amplified frequency increases with temperature, thus shifting...
Article
Full-text available
Object manufacture in insects is typically inherited, and believed to be highly stereotyped. Optimization, the ability to select the functionally best material and modify it appropriately for a specific function, implies flexibility and is usually thought to be incompatible with inherited behaviour. Here, we show that tree-crickets optimize acousti...
Preprint
Full-text available
Spiders rely on mechanical vibration sensing for sexual signalling, prey capture and predator evasion. The sensory organs underlying vibration detection, called slit sensilla, resemble cracks in the spider's exoskeleton, and are distributed all over the spider body. Those crucial to sensing web- and other substrate-borne vibrations are called lyrif...
Preprint
Full-text available
A bstract Hearing consists of a delicate chain of events. Sound is first captured by an eardrum or similar organ which is set into vibrations, these vibrations must then be transmitted to sensory cells in a manner that opens mechanosensory channels generating an electrical signal. Studying this process is challenging. Auditory vibrations are in the...
Article
Full-text available
Jumping in animals presents an interesting locomotory strategy as it requires the generation of large forces and accurate timing. Jumping in arachnids is further complicated by their semi-hydraulic locomotion system. Among arachnids, jumping spiders (Family Salticidae) are agile and dexterous jumpers. However, less is known about jumping in small s...
Article
Full-text available
Khoomei is a unique singing style originating from the republic of Tuva in central Asia. Singers produce two pitches simultaneously: a booming low-frequency rumble alongside a hovering high-pitched whistle-like tone. The biomechanics of this biphonation are not well-understood. Here, we use sound analysis, dynamic magnetic resonance imaging, and vo...
Article
Motivated by recent developments suggesting that interaural coupling in non-mammals allows for the two active ears to effectively synchronize, this report describes otoacoustic measurements made in the oral cavity of lizards. As expected from that model, spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAEs) were readily measurable in the mouth, which is contig...
Preprint
Full-text available
Khoomei is a unique singing style originating from the Central Asian republic of Tuva. Singers produce two pitches simultaneously: a booming low-frequency rumble alongside a hovering high-pitched whistle-like tone. The biomechanics of this biphonation are not well-understood. Here, we use sound analysis, dynamic magnetic resonance imaging, and voca...
Article
Insects have evolved a diversity of hearing organs specialized to detect sounds critical for survival. We report on a unique structure on butterfly wings that enhances hearing. The Satyrini are a diverse group of butterflies occurring throughout the world. One of their distinguishing features is a conspicuous swelling of their forewing vein, but th...
Article
Tree crickets use sound to attract mates and make acoustic baffles to increase their sound production efficiency. It has been recently discovered that these insects use a flexible yet inherited behavioural programme to make acoustically optimal baffles. Whether these baffles qualify as tools, however, remains controversial. Here, baffle‐using and b...
Article
Full-text available
Insects have small brains and heuristics or ‘rules of thumb’ are proposed here to be a good model for how insects optimize the objects they make and use. Generally, heuristics are thought to increase the speed of decision making by reducing the computational resources needed for making decisions. By corollary, heuristic decisions are also deemed to...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Tree cricket hearing shows all the features of an actively amplified auditory system, particularly spontaneous oscillations (SOs) of the tympanal membrane. As expected from an actively amplified auditory system, SO frequency and the peak frequency in evoked responses as observed in sensitivity spectra are correlated. Sensitivity spectra also show c...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Generated inside the inner ear, spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAEs) are the most salient evidence for an “active” ear. These emissions propagate back through the middle and external ears, setting the tympanic membrane in motion such that it effectively acts as a “speaker”. Better characterization of this motion would be useful for the quantif...
Article
Full-text available
Object manufacture in insects is typically inherited, and believed to be highly stereotyped. Optimization, the ability to select the functionally best material and modify it appropriately for a specific function, implies flexibility and is usually thought to be incompatible with inherited behaviour. Here, we show that tree-crickets optimize acousti...
Article
Full-text available
Active amplification in auditory systems is a unique and sophisticated mechanism that expends energy in amplifying the mechanical input to the auditory system, to increase its sensitivity and acuity. Although known for decades from vertebrates, active auditory amplification was only discovered in insects relatively recently. It was first discovered...
Article
Full-text available
Animal ears are exquisitely adapted to capture sound energy and perform signal analysis. Studying the ear of the locust, we show how frequency signal analysis can be performed solely by using the structural features of the tympanum. Incident sound waves generate mechanical vibrational waves that travel across the tympanum. These waves shoal in a ts...
Conference Paper
Photon absorption is the primary event in vision. Whilst the sensitivity of an eye is governed by a number of factors, one of the most fundamental is the quantum efficiency of the photon absorption. Previous measurements have investigated whether insect retinal cells are capable of detecting single photons1. The results suggest a process of photon...
Article
Full-text available
Low frequency sounds are advantageous for long-range acoustic signal transmission, but for small animals, they constitute a challenge for signal detection and localization. The efficient detection of sound in insects is enhanced by mechanical resonance either in the tracheal or tympanal system before subsequent neuronal amplification. Making small...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Insects are small; this is a fact of their life. In some contexts this is an advantage, such as insects do not injure themselves through the effects of gravity. In other contexts this is a disadvantage, especially in the context of sound production and reception. The wavelengths of sound that insects such as crickets produce and receive are several...
Article
Full-text available
The ears of the desert locust perform frequency analysis by using vibrational waves that travel across its heterogeneous eardrum. Similar to frequency separation achieved by the basilar membrane of the human cochlea, the locust eardrum localizes frequency components at specific anatomical eardrum locations where specific neural mechanoreceptors mak...
Article
Full-text available
Animals communicate in non-ideal and noisy conditions. The primary method they use to improve communication efficiency is sender-receiver matching: the receiver's sensory mechanism filters the impinging signal based on the expected signal. In the context of acoustic communication in crickets, such a match is made in the frequency domain. The males...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Insects have evolved very diverse sensory systems to detect incident acoustic energy. The ears of insects are always very small -often spanning less that one millimeteryet they perform very well all elementary tasks of acoustic detection. Here, we present an experimental analysis of the mechanical response of the ears of the locust. We show how the...
Article
Full-text available
Crickets have two tympanal membranes on the tibiae of each foreleg. Among several field cricket species of the genus Gryllus (Gryllinae), the posterior tympanal membrane (PTM) is significantly larger than the anterior membrane (ATM). Laser Doppler vibrometric measurements have shown that the smaller ATM does not respond as much as the PTM to sound....
Article
Full-text available
Animals have to accomplish several tasks in their lifetime, such as finding food and mates and avoiding predators. Animals that locate these using sound need to detect, recognize and localize appropriate acoustic objects in their environment, typically in noisy, non-ideal conditions. Quantitative models attempting to explain or predict animal behav...
Thesis
Animals detect, recognize and localize relevant objects in noisy, multi-source environments. Female crickets locate potential mates in choruses of simultaneously calling males using acoustic signals, a behaviour termed phonotaxis. The mechanisms underlying cricket phonotaxis are now understood across multiple levels: biophysical, neurobiological an...
Article
Full-text available
Field cricket females localize one of many singing males in the field in closed-loop multi-source conditions. To understand this behaviour, field cricket phonotaxis was investigated in a closed-loop walking phonotaxis paradigm, in response to two simultaneously active speakers playing aphasic calling songs. Female phonotactic paths were oriented to...
Article
Males of several acoustically communicating orthopteran species form spatially and temporally structured choruses. We investigated whether male field crickets of the species Plebeiogryllus guttiventris formed choruses in the field. Males formed spatial aggregations and showed fidelity to a calling site within a night, forming stable choruses. Withi...
Article
Full-text available
The sequencing of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) H37Rv genome has facilitated deeper insights into the biology of MTB, yet the functions of many MTB proteins are unknown. We have used sensitive profile-based search procedures to assign functional and structural domains to infer functions of gene products encoded in MTB. These domain assignmen...
Article
Full-text available
Members of a superfamily of proteins could result from divergent evolution of homologues with insignificant similarity in the amino acid sequences. A superfamily relationship is detected commonly after the three-dimensional structures of the proteins are determined using X-ray analysis or NMR. The SUPFAM database described here relates two homologo...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
Has anyone done multi body dynamics work in COMSOL? I'm thinking of switching from Matlab in order to access the non-linear materials module. Thoughts?

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