Finding Their Way: How Migratory Creatures Get Where They’re Going

Science for the Public: Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations
April 19, 2022, Belmont Media Center, Belmont MA (Zoom)

Charles Walcott, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University. Dr. Walcott has made significant contributions to the understanding of sensory mechanisms such as the navigational ability of birds and other migratory creatures, the peculiar “hearing” of certain spiders, and the unique vocal communication of Loons. He has also been involved with science programs/series such as Exploring Nature, The Elementary Science Curriculum Study, NOVA, and 3-2-1 Contact. And He has served as University Ombudsman for Cornell University.

In this discussion, Dr. Walcott explains how magnetoreception works and the range of creatures that are endowed with this amazing ability to navigate very long distances. There are numerous theories about this feature and he discusses the unknowns and how scientists unravel the biophysics of magnetoreception. In addition, Dr. Walcott discusses some of his other interesting work, including how spiders “hear” with their legs.


  • Korrespondierendes Mitglied Deutsche Ornithologen-gesellschaft
    • Scientific Fellow New York Zoological Society
    • Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation 2008 HRH The Duke of Edinburgh