Gordus Lab @ Johns Hopkins University

We live in a dynamic, and at times unpredictable environment. In order to maximize our use of the environment, we must be able to generate both novel and predictable behaviors to engage with the world around us. Our lab is interested in the cellular and genetic mechanisms that drive novel and innate behaviors, and how organisms sense and adjust to environmental variability. To address these issues, we use two model organisms: nematodes and spiders.

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Caenorhabditis elegans

With only 302 neurons, the worm C. elegans provides a powerful model system to study how decision-making is implemented in the brain.

our worm research
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Uloborus diversus

We study the behavior, neural circuits, and genetics of the hackled orb-weaver (Uloborus diversus). Web-making is a highly structured, complex, innate behavior occurring over multiple timescales. Its small brain, roughly the size of a fly's, offers a tractable system for studying how neural circuits generate such complex behaviors.

our spider research

Our Research


Making decisions in a variable environment.

Worms, like us, have to make decisions in a variable environment.

We use transgenics to manipulate and record from specific neurons in the worm's brain to ask basic questions of sensory integration and motor pattern generation.


How do spiders build their webs?

We study the behavior, neural circuits, and genetics of the hackled orb-weaver (Uloborus diversus). Web-making is a highly structured, complex, innate behavior occurring over multiple timescales. Its small brain, roughly the size of a fly's, offers a tractable system for studying how neural circuits generate such complex behaviors.


Directions & Contact

Office Phone: 410-516-6509

Email: agordus@jhu.edu

Mailing Address

Johns Hopkins University

3400 N. Charles St.

Bio East 206

Baltimore, MD 21218