Dr Anton Nikolaev


Lecturer in Neuroscience
Department of Biomedical Science
University of Sheffield
Western Bank
Sheffield S10 2TN
United Kingdom

Room: B1 221b Alfred Denny building
Telephone: +44 (0) 114 222 5113
Email: a.nikolaev@sheffield.ac.uk
Group: Hearing Research Group



Brief career history

  • 2013 - present: Lecturer, Department of Biomedical Science, The University of Sheffield
  • 2008 - 2013: Postdoctoral Fellow, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge
  • 2006 - 2008: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Sheffield
  • 2005 - 2006: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Umea
  • 2001 - 2005: PhD, Institute of Cytology, Russian Academy of Science, St.Petersburg
  • 1994 - 2000: BSc, MSc,  University of St.Petersburg.

Research interests

Our research is focused on investigating the neuronal circuits responsible for information processing in the visual system. The vertebrate visual system is able to recognize a remarkable number of objects of different appearances but the mechanisms and neural circuits underlying this ability are not known. To tackle this problem we use in vivo imaging of neuronal activity in zebrafish and follow the processing of visual information in different brain areas.

Hearing Research Group

Professional activities

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Full publications


Neuronal circuits involved in processing of visial information in zebrafish

1. To understand the organisation of neuronal circuits performing processing of visual information in zebrafish. Using a combination of behavioural and imaging techniques we study how the zebrafish visual system processes visual information. Our main goal is to understand how information about object identity is encoded in the activity of visual neurons. The range of questions we ask includes: what features are extracted by the early visual system in order to make object recognition efficient? How do these features converge to form receptive fields of object recognising neurons? What is the role of adaptation in this process?

To answer these questions we image neuronal activity in zebrafish larvae. We are using zebrafish lines expressing calcium activity indicators in all or subset of visual neurons. These indicators change their brightness when neuron is active. The advantage of this method is that it is non-invasive and allows for the simultaneous study of a large population of neurons - something that is currently unfeasible using other techniques.

2. To understand how memory is encoded in changes in synaptic strength. We are develop GFP based reporters of long-term potentiation and long-term depression. These reporters will be used in vivo to understand how simple forms of associative and non-associative memory are implemented in changes in synaptic strength. To answer these questions we are developing behavioural paradigms that will allow us to combine evaluation of memory formation with in vivo imaging of synaptic strength.

Figure 1


Teaching experience:

2015: Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching from the University of Sheffield (Fellow of The Higher Education Academy, FHEA)

Undergraduate and postgraduate taught modules


  • BMS109-153 Neuroscience
  • BMS109 Practical Classes
  • BMS242 Advanced Concepts in Molecular Physiology (Co-ordinator)

Postgraduate studentship opportunities

We advertise PhD opportunities (Funded or Self-Funded) on FindAPhD.com

For further information and details of other projects on offer, please see the department PhD Opportunities page:

PhD Opportunities

Selected publications

Journal articles