Biology Faculty: Helmut Hirsch

Helmut V. B. Hirsch

Emeritus Distinguished Teaching Professor of Biological Sciences
PhD, Stanford University


Areas of Interest

  • Activity-dependent development of brain and behavior in Drosophila
  • Circadian rhythms in Drosophila courtship
  • Effects of environmental toxins on behavior of Drosophila
  • The biology of ultrasmall arthropods


Get PDF Recent Papers on Developmental Plasticity:
  • Ruden, D.M., Possidente, D., Lnenicka, G., Hirsch, H.V.B. (2010) Toxicogenomics of Heavy Metals using Drosophila model. In Jerome Nriagu (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Environmental Health. Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • Hirsch, H.V.B., Possidente, D., Possidente, B.(2010) Pb2+: An Endocrine Disruptor in Drosophila? Behavior and Physiology, 99 (2) 254-259 .
  • Ruden, D. M., Chen, L., Possidente, D., Possidente, B., Rasouli, P., Wang, L., Lu, X., Garfinkel, M. D., Hirsch, H. V., Page, G. P. (2009) Genetical toxicogenomics in Drosophila identifies master-modulatory loci that are regulated by developmental exposure to lead. Neurotoxicology, 30(6) 898-914.
  • Ruden, D.M., Chen, L., Shriner, D., Ye, J., Rasouli, P., Gao, D., Lu, X., Yi, N., Garfinkel, M.D., Hirsch, H.V.B. and Page, G.P. (2009) Genetical Toxicogenomics in Drosophila Identifies Master Modulatory Loci that are Regulated by Developmental Exposure to Lead, (Submitted to PLOS Genetics).
  • He, T., Hirsch, H. V., Ruden, D. M., Lnenicka, G. A. (2009) Chronic lead exposure alters presynaptic calcium regulation and synaptic facilitation in Drosophila larvae. Neurotoxicology, 30 (5) 777-784.
  • Levin, E. D., Aschner, M., Heberlein, U., Ruden, D., Welsh-Bohmer, K. A., Bartlett, S., Berger, K., Chen, L., Corl, A. B., Eddins, D., French, R., Hayden, K. M., Helmcke, K., Hirsch, H. V., Linney, E., Lnenicka, G., Page, G. P., Possidente, D., Possidente, B., Kirshner, A. (2009) Neurotoxicology. 30(5) 741-753.
  • Adamski, Z., Machalska, K., Chorostkowska, C., Niewadzi, M., Ziemnicki, K., Hirsch, H.V.B. (2009) Effects of sublethal concentrations of fenitrothion on beet armyworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) development and reproduction. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology 94(2-3)73-78
  • Hirsch, H.V.B., Possidente, D., Averill, S., Palmetto Despain, T., Buytkins, J., Thomas, V., Goebel, W.P., Shipp-Hilts, A., Wilson, D., Hollocher, K., Possidente, B., Lnenicka, G., Ruden, D.M. (2009) Variations at a Quantitative Trait Locus (QTL) affect development of behavior in lead-exposed Drosophila melanogaster, Neurotoxicology, 30 (2) 305-311 .
  • Hirsch, M.A., Hammond, F. M., Hirsch, H.V.B., (2008) From Research to Practice; Rehabilitation of Persons Living with Parkinson's Disease, Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation, 24 (2), 92-98.
  • Hirsch, H.V.B. and Ghiradella, H. Environmental Influences on Behavioral Development in Insects, in J. Capinera (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Entomology, (2005) Dordrecht, Netherlands, Kluwer Press.
  • Barth, C.A., Freivogel, S, Hirsch, M.A., Hirsch, H.V. and Pott, C.D. (2005) Neue Denkmodell in der Physiotherapie Volume 2: Bewegungsentwicklung und Bewegungskontrolle (Title: New Conceptual Models in Physical Therapy Volume 2: Development and Control of Movement), Stuttgart, Germany, Georg Thieme Verlag, pp12-60 .
  • Hirsch, H.V.B., Mercer, J., Sambaziotis, H., Huber, M., Stark, D., Torno-Morley, T., Hollocher, H., Ghiradella, H., Ruden, D.M. (2003) Behavioral Effects of Chronic Exposure to Low Levels of Lead in Drosophila melanogaster. Neurotoxicology, 24, 435-442.
  • Hirsch H.V.B., Mercer J., Sambaziotis H., Huber M., Stark D.T., Torno-Morley T., Hollocher K., Ghiradella H., Ruden D.M. (2003). Behavioral effects of chronic exposure to low levels of lead in Drosophila melanogaster. Neurotoxicology. 24:435-42.
  • Morley E.J., Hirsch H.V.B., Hollocher K., Lnenicka G.A. (2003) Effects of chronic lead exposure on the neuromuscular junction in Drosophila larvae. Neurotoxicology. 24:35-41.
  • Barth, M., Hirsch, H.V.B. and Heisenberg, M. (1997) Rearing in different light reimes affects courtship behaviour in Drosophila melanogaster. Animal Behaviour, 53, 25-38.
  • Barth, M., Hirsch, H.V.B., Meinertzhagen, I.A. and Heisenberg, M. (1997) Experience-Dependent Developmental Plasticity in the Optic Lobe of Drosophila melanogaster. The Journal of Neuroscience, 15, 1493-1504.
  • Hirsch, H.V.B., Barth, M., Sun, L., Sambaziotis, H., Huber, M., Possidente, D., Ghiradella, H. and Tompkins, L. (1995) Early visual experience affects mate choice of Drosophila melanogaster. Animal Behaviour, 50, 1211-1217.
  • Hirsch, H.V.B., Potter, D., Zawierucha, D., Choudhri, T., Glasser, A. and Byers, D. (1991) Developmental Visual Plasticity In Drosophila. Annals New York Academy of Sciences, 627, 359-362.
  • Hirsch, H.V.B., Potter, D., Zawierucha, D., Glasser, A., Choudhri, T., Murphey, R.K. and Byers, D. (1990) Rearing in darkness changes visually-guided choice in Drosophila. Visual Neurosci. 5, 281-289.
Representative Past Work:
  • Hirsch, H.V.B. and Spinelli, D.N. (1970) Visual experience modifies distribution of horizontally and vertically oriented receptive fields in cats. Science 168, 869-871.
  • Blake, R. and Hirsch, H.V.B. (1975) Deficits in binocular depth perception in cats following alternating monocular deprivation. Science 190, 114-116.
  • Leventhal, A.G. and Hirsch, H.V.B. (1975) Cortical effects of early selective exposure to diagonal lines. Science 190, 902-904.
  • Tumosa, N., Tieman, S.B. and Hirsch, H.V.B. (1980) Unequal alternating monocular deprivation causes asymmetric visual fields in cats. Science 208, 421-423.
Selected Reviews:
  • Hirsch, H.V.B. (1985) The Tunable Seer: Activity-dependent development of vision. In: Handbook of Behavioral Biology. E. Blass (Ed.), Plenum Press, New York, pp 237-295.
  • Hirsch, H.V.B and Tompkins, L. (1994) The Flexible Fly: Experience-dependent development of complex behaviors in Drosophila melanogaster. Journal of Experimental Biology, 195, 1-18.
Papers on Science Education:
  • Hirsch, H.V.B. and Ghiradella, H. (1994) From Canyon de Chelly to the Science Longhouse at Albany: Educators look at Contemporary Science Teaching, Winds of Change (Spring), pp. 38-43.