Douglas Altshuler

Wall Scholar




Department of Zoology





Geographic Location

Douglas Altshuler

Doug Altshuler’s research is focused on the biomechanics and neural control of animal flight. He received a BA in History from the University of California Santa Cruz (1992), an MSc in Biological Sciences from Purdue University (1996), and a PhD in Zoology from the University of Texas at Austin (2001). His was a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology (2002-2006) and an Assistant Professor at the University of California Riverside (2006-2011) before moving to UBC.

Dr. Altshuler uses interdisciplinary approaches to examine how animals use visual information to guide their flight, and how muscles are orchestrated to move the wings and ultimately produce the aerodynamic forces that move an animal through its environment. Although he has worked on the flight of multiple species, Dr. Altshuler’s research is focused on small, maneuverable birds, with a particular emphasis on hummingbirds.

Primary Recipient Awards

Douglas Altshuler – Wall Scholars – 2016

During his year in residence at the Institute, Dr. Altshuler aims to integrate two broad research themes on sensory input and motor output to gain new insight into how the avian brain controls flight. Working in collaboration with faculty and graduate students at UBC, he plans to organize a workshop on the sensorimotor circuitry of flight control in birds to guide new research into what has been called the last frontier of avian neuroscience.