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PD Dr. Joachim Schmidt


  • 1989: Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, USA; 6-week Summer Course "Neural Systems and Behavior"
  • 1987-1991: University of Konstanz, Graduate studies, Dr. rer. nat. (research advisors W. Rathmayer)
  • 1979 – 1986: University of Göttingen, Diploma Biology (research advisors W. Zarnack, N. Elsner)

Academic Appointments

  • 1999 - present: Research Associate, Inst. of Zoology, University of Cologne
  • 2012: 6/22 – 7/8 Visiting Professor, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kota Bharu, Malysia; (DAAD Summer School Fundermentals of Electrophysiology)
  • 2010 - present: Faculty member ENI-ELECTRAIN Electrophysiology Course, European Neuroscience Institute Göttingen
  • 1994 - 1998: Research Associate, University of Kaiserslautern (Deitmer Lab)
  • 1991 - 1993: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Emory University, USA (Calabrese Lab)

Honors and Awards

  • 2010: Lecture tour stipend for Brazil from DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service)
  • 2002: Habilitation and Venia Legendi in Zoology, University of Cologne
  • 1994: Research Fellowship DFG (German Science Foundation)
  • 1992: Grass Fellowship at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA, USA
  • 1991: Dr. rer. nat, University of Konstanz



  • Berg E, Hooper SL, Schmidt J, Büschges A (2015). A leg-local neural mechanism mediates the decision to search in stick insect. Curr Biol 25: 2012-2017
  • Hooper S, Thuma J, Guschlbauer Ch, Schmidt J, Büschges A (2015) Cell dialysis by sharp electrodes can cause non-physiological changes in neuron properties. J Neurophysiol 114: 1255-1271
  • Rosenbaum P, Schmitz J, Schmidt J, Büschges A (2015) Task-dependent modification of leg motor neuron synaptic input underlying changes in walking direction and walking speed. J Neurophysiol 114: 1090-1101
  • Toth TI, Grabowska M, Schmidt J, Büschges A and Daun-Gruhn S (2013). A neuro-mechanical model explaining the physiological role of fast and slow muscle fibres at stop and start of stepping of an insect leg. PLOS ONE, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078247
  • Toth TI, Schmidt J, Büschges A and Daun-Gruhn S (2013) A neuro-mechanical model of a single joint highlighting the basic physiological role of fast and slow muscle fibres of an insect muscle system. PLOS ONE, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078246
  • Berg E, Büschges A, Schmidt J (2013) Single perturbations cause sustained changes in searching behavior in stick insects. J Exp Biol, 216: 1064-1074.
  • Grabowska M*, Godlewska E*, Schmidt J# , Daun-Gruhn S# (2012) Quadrupedal gaits in hexapod animals - Inter-leg coordination in free-walking adult stick insects. J Exp Biol, 215: 4255-4266 * shared first authorship, # shared last authorship
  • Goldammer J, Büschges A, Schmidt J (2012) Motoneurons, DUM cells, and sensory neurons in an insect thoracic ganglion: A tracing study in the stick insect Carausius morosus. J Comp Neurol 520: 230-257
  • Oliveira EE, Schleicher S, Büschges A, Schmidt J, Kloppenburg P, Salgado VL (2011) Desensitization of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in Central Nervous System Neurons of the Stick Insect (Carausius morosus) by Imidacloprid and Sulfoximine Insecticides. Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol41: 872-880
  • Oliveira EE, Pippow A, Salgado VL, Büschges A, Schmidt J and Kloppenburg P (2010) Cholinergic Currents in Leg Motoneurons of the Stick Insect Carausius morosus. J Neurophysiol 103: 2770-2782
  • Westmark S, Oliveira EE, Schmidt J (2009) Pharmacological Analysis of Tonic Activity in Motoneurons During Stick Insect Walking. J Neurophysiol 102: 1049–1061.
  • Ludwar BCh, Westmark S and Schmidt J (2005) Modulation of membrane potential in mesothoracic moto- and interneurons during stick insect front-leg walking. J Neurophysiol 94:2771-2784.
  • Ludwar BCh, Göritz ML and Schmidt J (2005) Intersegmental coordination of walking movements in stick insects. J Neurophysiol 93:1255-1265.
  • Büschges A, Ludwar, BCh, Bucher D, Schmidt J and DiCaprio R (2004) Synaptic drive contributing to rhythmic activation of motoneurons in the deafferented stick insect walking system. Eur J Neurosci, 19: 1856-1862.
  • Gabriel J, Scharstein H, Schmidt J and Büschges A (2003) Control of flexor motoneuron activity during single leg walking of the stick insect on an electronically controlled treadwheel. J Neurobiol, 56: 237-51.
  • Schmidt J and Grund M (2003) Rhythmic activity in a motor axon induced by axotomy. NeuroReport, 14: 1267-1271.
  • Britz FC, Lohr C, Schmidt J and Deitmer JW (2002) Characterization of a synaptiform transmission between a neuron and a glial cell in the leech central nervous system. Glia, 38: 215-227.
  • Schmidt J, Fischer H and Büschges A (2001) Pattern generation for walking and searching movements of the stick insect leg. 2. Control of motoneuronal activity: Synaptic and intrinsic properties. J. Neurophysiol, 85: 354-361
  • Fischer H, Schmidt J, Haas R and Büschges A (2001) Pattern generation for walking and searching movements of the stick insect leg. 1. Intra- and interjoint coordination of motor activity in a stick insect single middle leg preparation. J. Neurophysiol, 85: 341-353.
  • Schmidt J and Deitmer JW (1999) Peptide-mediated glial responses to Leydig neuron activity in the leech central nervous system. Europ J Neurosci, 11: 3125-3133.
  • Schmidt J, Prinz P and Deitmer JW (1999) Glial cell responses to nerve root stimulation in the leech Hirudo medicinalis. Glia, 27: 32-38.
  • Lu J, Gramoll S, Schmidt J and Calabrese RL (1999) Motor pattern switching in the heartbeat pattern generator of the medicinal leech: membrane properties and lack of synaptic interaction in switch interneurons. J Comp Physiol A, 184: 311-524.
  • Schmidt J (1998) Activity pattern of an oscillatory network after synaptic block in the leech central nervous system. J Comp Physiol A, 182: 501-507
  • Schmidt J and Deitmer JW (1996) Photoinactivation of the giant neuropil glial cells in the leech Hirudo medicinalis: Effects on neuronal activity and synaptic transmission. J Neurophysiol 76: 2861-2871
  • Schmidt J, Mangold C and Deitmer JW (1996) Membrane responses evoked by organic buffers in identified leech neurones. J exp Biol 199: 327-335
  • Schmidt J, Gramoll S and Calabrese RL (1995) Segment-specific effects if FMRFamide on membrane properties of heart interneurons in the leech. J Neurophysiol 74:1485-149
  • Gramoll S, Schmidt J and Calabrese RL (1994) Switching in the activtivity state of an interneuron that controls coordination of the hearts in the medicinal leech (Hirudo medicinalis). J exp Biol 186:157-171
  • Simon TW, Schmidt J and Calabrese RL (1994) Modulation of high-threshold transmission between heart interneurons of the medicinal leech by FMRF-NH2. J Neurophysiol 71:454-466
  • Schmidt J and Rathmayer W (1993) Central organization of common inhibitory motoneurons in the locust: role of afferent signals from leg mechanoreceptors. J Comp Physiol A 172:447-456
  • Schmidt J and Calabrese RL (1992) Evidence that acetycholine is an inhibitory transmitter of heart interneurons in the leech. J exp Biol 171:329-347
  • Schmidt J and Zarnack W (1987) The motor pattern of locusts during visually induced rolling in long term flight. Biol Cybern 56:397-410

Reviews and Book Chapters

  • Büschges A, Schmidt J (2015) Neuronale Kontrolle des Laufens – Einblicke aus Untersuchungen an Insekten. Neuroforum 21:152-160.
  • Büschges A, Schmidt J (2015) Neuronal control of walking: insights from studies in insects. e-Neuroforum 6:105-112.
  • Büschges A, Daun-Gruhn S, Gruhn M, Schmidt J (2014) The complexity of the ordinary — the neural control of locomotion. In: S. Leyssen, P. Rathgeber (eds), Bilder animierter Bewegung, Wilhelm Fink Verlag; 1. Edition (February 19, 2014); EAN: 9783770556243.
  • Büschges A, Akay T, Gabriel JP, Schmidt J (2008) Organizing network action for locomotion: insights from studying insect walking. Brain Res Rev 57, 162-171.
  • Büschges A, Schmidt J and Wolf H (2001) Sensory processing in invertebrate motor systems.  In: Atlas et al. (eds) Encyclopedia of Life Sciences, Nature Publ. Group, Macmillan Ref. Ltd., London.
  • Deitmer, J.W., Lohr, C., Britz, F.C. and Schmidt, J. (2001) Glial signalling in response to neuronal activity. Progr. Brain  Res. 132, 215-226
  • Deitmer JW, Rose CR, Munsch T, Schmidt J, Nett W, Schneider H-P, and Lohr C (1999) Leech Giant Glial Cell: Functional role in a simple nervous system. Glia, 28:175-182.
  • Hooper SL, Schmidt J (2017) Electrophysiological recording techniques. In: S.L. Hooper and A. Büschges (eds) Neurobiology of Motor Control 7-47; Wiley Blackwell; 1st edition.
  • Schmidt J, Gramoll S and Calabrese RL (1993) Pattern generation and information channeling in an oscillatory neural network. In: Wiese K, Gribakin FG, Popov AV and Renninger G (eds) Sensory systems of arthropods 567-577; Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel Boston Berlin


  • Schmidt J. (2007) Heidi Klum und das Modellsystem in der Biologie, Neuroforum 4/07, 140