Research Focus


  • Cys-Loop Receptor
  • G-Protein Coupled Receptors
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Visual System
  • Clinical Conditions

  • Other 
  • Equipment & Techniques

  • Behavioural analysis
  • Calcium imaging
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Electrophysiological recording techniques
  • Fluorescence microscopy
  • Microscopy
  • Science Culture

  • CamBRAIN
  • Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing
  • Public Engagement
  • Science Communication
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    Dr Amy Courtney

    University Position
    Research Associate


    My research takes advantage of unique animals and their evolutionary innovations to understand fundamental principles of nervous systems.. During my PhD I worked with the ctenophore Pleurobrachia pileus and now during my Postdoc I am working with the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the cephalopod Octopus vulgaris. My current research focuses of a synaptically localised receptor known as a cys-loop ligand-gated ion channel. These receptors are essential for fast neurotransmission and behavioural coordination in animals. I am striving to gain a broader understanding into the functional diversity of these receptors across the animal kingdom and explore the role they play in controlling behaviours. My work will lead to a deeper understanding into the evolution of nervous systems and basic principles of neural function.


    Key Publications

    The Flexiscope: a low cost, flexible, convertible and modular microscope with automated scanning and micromanipulation

    Journal: Royal Society Open Science
    Year: 2020
    Authors: Courtney, A.; Alvey, L. M.; Merces, G. O. T.; Burke, N.; Pickering, M.

    Characterization of Geometric Variance in the Epithelial Nerve Net of the Ctenophore Pleurobrachia Pileus

    Journal: Journal of Comparative Neurology
    Year: 2022
    Authors: Courtney, A.; Liegey, J.; Burke, N.; Hassett, A. R.; Lowery, M.; Pickering, M.


    A Novel and Functionally Diverse Class of Acetylcholine-Gated Ion Channels

    Journal: The Journal of Neuroscience
    Year: 2023
    Authors: Hardege, I.; Morud, J.; Courtney, A.; Schafer, W. R

    Cephalopod-omics: Emerging Fields and Technologies in Cephalopod Biology

    Journal: Integrative & Comparative Biology
    Year: 2023
    Authors: Baden, T.; Briseño, J.; Coffing, G.; Cohen-Bodénès, S.; Courtney, A.; Dickerson, D.; Dölen, G.; Fiorito, G.; Gestal, C.; Gustafson, T.; Heath-Heckman, E.; Hua, Q.; Imperadore, P.; Kimbara, R.; Król, M.; Lajbner, Z.; Lichilín, N.; Macchi, F.; McCoy, M. J.; Nishiguchi, M. K.; Nyholm, S. V.; Otjacques, E.; Pérez-Ferrer, P. A.; Ponte, G.; Pungor, J. R.; Rogers, T. F.; Rosenthal, J. J. C.; Rouressol, L.; Rubas, N.; Sanchez, G.; Santos, C. P.; Schultz, D. T.; Seuntjens, E.; Songco-Casey, J. O.; Stewart, I. E.; Styfhals, R.; Tuanapaya, S.; Vijayan, N.; Weissenbacher, A.; Zifcakova, L.; Schulz, G.; Weertman, W.; Simakov, O.; Albertin, C. B

    System-Wide Mapping of Peptide-GPCR Interactions in C. Elegans

    Journal: Cell Reports
    Year: 2023
    Authors: Beets, I.; Zels, S.; Vandewyer, E.; Demeulemeester, J.; Caers, J.; Baytemur, E.; Courtney, A.; Golinelli, L.; Hasakioğulları, İ.; Schafer, W. R.; Vértes, P. E.; Mirabeau, O.; Schoofs, L.