Department of Chemistry

Natural History Museum displays University research

Thu Nov 06 15:26:00 GMT 2014

The Natural History Museum has included the University's research into how fish swim to smell.

Jonathan Cox with sharkThis is the second display at the Natural History Museum that features work from the University.

A team from the Departments of Chemistry and Mechanical Engineering used the Museum's collection to better understand how fish exploit flow for olfactory purposes. The team looked at fish from the collection to examine their nostril structure more closely. Although diffusion is slow in water, fish are still able to pick up scent quickly by creating their own nasal flow when swimming. Understanding fish adaptations to smelling underwater may improve the ability of scent-tracking robots to monitor pollution, and may even help in counter terrorism.

The work that forms the basis of the new display was funded by an award from the Alumni Fund to Jonathan Cox, Ismet Gursul and Zhijin Wang.

The display called 'Fish Robots Smell Trouble' can be found on Dinosaur Way in the Museum’s Blue Zone and is free to visit. Go to the Natural History Museum website for more information.