Our Research

Our lab makes use of electrophysiology, cellular imaging, tract tracing, immunocytochemistry and behavioural experiments to examine the function of the olfactory system of the sea lamprey, chinook salmon, and round goby. The olfactory pathway directs our responses to odourants and provides a study model for understanding of how an environmental stimulus is channeled into the brain, where this information evokes memory or where a motor response is generated. In nature, fish use the olfactory sense for behaviour that directs feeding and reproduction, as well as alarm response and recognition of conspecifics.

In the Great Lakes region, lampreys and round gobies are examples of highly successful invasive species that make good use of the olfactory system for movement and behaviours associated with reproduction. We are especially interested in understanding how these highly successful fish make use of the olfactory system. Our investigations encompass the different subsystems within the olfactory system, in particular the accessory olfactory organ and its central connections in the sea lamprey – is this an evolutionary relative of the vomeronasal system that directs the movement of the sea lamprey? If so, then what are the neuronal connections, what are the responses generated by this olfactory subsystem, and what factors are important in regulating its function?

Our Team



Want first-hand experience of day-to-day laboratory techniques? Contact us to check availability.

Undergraduate Thesis

Interested in undertaking an undergraduate thesis project in olfactory neurobiology? Contact us to check availability.

Work Study

Go here to see if you qualify for a Work Study position within our lab.


Select publications from 2000 - present

Green WW, Boyes K., McFadden C., Daghfous, G, Auclair F., Zhang, H., Dubuc R, Zielinski B. 2017 Odorant organization in the olfactory bulb of the sea lamprey. J. Exp. Biol. 220, 1350-1359.

Ochs, C.L., Suntres, T., Zygowska, A., Pitcher, T., Zielinski, B.S. 2017 Organization of glomerular territories in the olfactory bulb of post-embryonic wild chinook salmon Onchorhynchus tshawystscha. J. Morphol. 278, 464-474.

Farwell, M., Hughes, G., Smith, J.L., Clelland E., Semeniuk, C., Loeb S.J., Scott, A.P., Li, W., Zielinski B. 2017 Differential female preference for individual components of a reproductive male round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) pheromone. Journal of Great Lakes Research 43,379-386

Daghfous, G., Green, W.W., Alford, S.T. Zielinski, B.S., Dubuc, R. 2016 Sensory Activation of command cells for locomotion and modulatory mechanisms: lessons from lampreys. Front Neural Circuits Mar 22;10:18. doi: 10.3389/fncir.2016.00018.

Buchinger TJ, Siefkes MJ, Zielinski BS, Brant CO, Li W. 2015 Chemical cues and pheromones in the sea lamprey. Front Zool. Nov 25;12:32. doi: 10.1186/s12983-015-0126-9.

Green, W.W., Basilious, A., Dubuc, R., Zielinski, B.S. 2013 The neuroanatomical organization of projection neurons associated with different olfactory bulb pathways in the sea lamprey, Petromyzon marinus. PLoS One 8(7) e69525.

Ochs, C.L., Laframboise, A.J., Green, W.W., Basilious, A., Johnson, T.B., Zielinski, B.S. 2013 Response to putative round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) pheromones by centrarchid and percid fish species in the Laurentian Great Lakes, Journal of Great Lakes Research 39, 186-189.

Tierney, K. Kereliuk, M., Katare, YK., Scott, A.P., Loeb, S. J., Zielinski, B. 2013 Invasive male round gobies (Neogobius melanostomus) release pheromones in their urine to attract females. CJFAS 70(3) 393-400.

Daghfous, G, Green WW, Zielinski B, Dubuc R 2012 Chemosensory-induced motor behaviours in fish. Curr. Opin. Neurobiol. 22, 223-230.

Tierney KB, Sekela MA, Cobbler CE, Xhabija B, Gledhill M, Ananvoranich S, Zielinski BS. 2011 Evidence for behavioral preference toward environmental concentrations of urban-use herbicides in a model adult fish. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 30(9): 2046-2054.

Laframboise AJ, Zielinski B. 2011 Responses of round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) olfactory epithelium to steroids released by reproductive males. Journal of Comparative Physiology A Ecology. 197: 999-1008.

Laframboise AJ, Katare YK, Scott AP, Zielinski B. 2011 The effect of elevated steroids released by reproductive male round goby, Neogobius melanostomus, on olfactory responses in females. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 37: 260-262.

Katare YK, Scott AP, Laframboise AJ, Li W, Alyasha’e Z, Caputo CB, Loeb SJ, Zielinski B., 2011 Release of free and conjugated forms of the putative pheromonal steroid, 11-oxo-etiocholanolone, by reproductively mature male round goby (Neogobius melanostomus Pallas, 1814). Biology of Reproduction. 84: 288-298.

Derjean D., Moussaddy A., Atallah, E., St-Pierre, M. Auclair F., Chang S, Ren X, Zielinski, B, Dubuc R. 2010 A novel neural substrate for the transformation of olfactory input into motor output. PLoS Biology.

Ren X., Chang S., Laframboise, A., Green W., Dubuc R., Zielinski B., 2009 Projections from the accessory olfactory organ into the medial region of the olfactory bulb in the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus): a novel vertebrate sensory structure? J. Comp. Neurol. 516: 105-116.

Laframboise A.J., Ren X., Chang S., Dubuc, R., Zielinski B. 2007 Olfactory sensory neurons in the sea lamprey display polymorphisms. Neurosci. Lett. 414: 277-281.

Dubuc, R., Brocard, F., Antri, M., Fénelon, K., Gariépy, J.-F., Smetana, R., Ménard, A., Le Ray, D., Viana Di Prisco, G., Pearlstein, É., Sirota, M.G., Derjean, D., St-Pierre, M., Zielinski, B., Auclair, F. and Veilleux, D. 2008 Initiation of locomotion in lampreys. Brain Research Rev. 57(1): 172-82.

Jasra, S.K., Arbuckle, W.J., Corkum, L.D. Li, W., Scott, A.P., Zielinski, B. 2007 The seminal vesicle synthesizes steroids in the round goby Neogobius melanostomus. Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr. Physiol. 148(1): 117-23.

Belanger, R.M., Ren X., McDowell, K.E., Chang, S., Moore, P.A., Zielinski, B.S., 2007 The morphology of major chelae of male crayfish, Orconectes rusticus (Decapoda, Astacidae) J. Crustacean Biology 28.

Belanger, R.M., Corkum, L.D., Zielinski, B.S. 2007 Differential behavioral responses by reproductive and non-reproductive male round gobies (Neogobius melanostomus) to the putative pheromone estrone. Comp. Biochem. Physio.l A Mol. Integr. Physiol. 147: 77-83.

Belanger, R.M., Corkum, L.D., Li, W., Zielinski B.S. 2006 Olfactory sensory input increases gill ventilation in male round gobies (Neogobius melanostomus) during exposure to steroids. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. A Mol. Intergr. Physiol. 144: 196-202.

Zielinski, B.S. Fredricks, K., Mcdonald, R., Zaidi, A.U. 2005 Morphological and electrophysiological examination of olfactory sensory neurons during the early developmental prolarval stage of the sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus L. J. Neurocytol. 34: 209-216.

Hansen, A., Zielinski B.S. 2005 Diversity in the olfactory epithelium of bony fishes: development, lamellar arrangement, sensory neuron cell types and transduction components. J. Neurocytol. 34: 183-208.

Arbuckle, W.J., Zielinski B., Belanger, A.J., Corkum, L.D., Yun, S.S., Scott, A.P. 2005 The Biosynthesis of novel 5β reduced steroids in the testis of the round goby, Neogobius melansotomus. General and Comparative Endocrinology: 140: 1-13.

Gammon DB, LiW, Scott AP, Zielinski B., Corkum L.D. 2005 Behavioural responses of female Neogobius melanostomus to odours of conspecifics. Journal of Fish Biology 67: 615-626.

Maeva, I. Bruno, B.S. Zielinski, M.F. Docker, F.M. Severin, R.G. Maev. 2004 The Use of Pulse-Echo Acoustic Microscopy to Non-Invasively Determine Sex of Living Larval Sea Lamprey, Petromyzon marinus. J. Fish Biol. 65: 148-156.

Belanger, A.J., W.J. Arbuckle, L.D. Corkum, D. Gammon, W. Li, A.P. Scott & B.S. Zielinski. 2004. Behavioural and olfactory epithelial responses by reproductive female round gobies (Neogobius melanostomus) to odours released by males. J. Fish Biol. 65: 933-946.

Corkum, L.D., W.J. Arbuckle, A.J. Belanger, D.B. Gammon, W. Li, A.P. Scott & B. Zielinski. 2006 Evidence of a male sex pheromone in the round goby (Neogobius melanostomus). Biological Invasions 18: 105-112.

Li., W. Scott, A.P., Siefkes M.J., Yun, S-S., Zielinski B. 2003 A Male Pheromone in the Sea Lamprey (Petromyzon marinus): an overview. Fish Physiology and Biochemistry 28: 259-262.

Frontini A, Zaidi AU, Hua H, Wolak TP, Greer CA, Kafitz KA, Li W, Zielinski B. 2003 Glomerular Territories in the Olfactory Bulb from the Larval Stage of the Sea Lamprey Petromyzon marinus: J. Comp. Neurol. 465: 27-37.

Siefkes M.J., Scott A.P., Zielinski B., Yun, S., Li, W. 2003 A Gill Glandular Cell-Mediated Release Mechanism for a Sex Pheromone in the Male Sea Lamprey Petromyzon marinus L. Biol. of Reproduction. 69(1): 125-132.

Belanger R.M., Smith C.M., Corkum L.D. and Zielinski B.S. 2003 Morphology and histochemistry of the peripheral olfactory organ in the round goby, Neogobius melanostomus (Teleostei: Gobiidae). J. Morphol. 257: 62-71.

Belanger, R. M. Corkum L. D., Zielinski B. 2002. The spatial organization of the peripheral olfactory organ in the round goby (Neogobius melanostomus). Oceanological Studies: 31: 23-29.

Zielinski, B.S., Moretti, N., Hua, H.N., Zaidi,, A.U. and Bisaillon, A.D. 2000 Serotonergic Nerve fibers in the primary olfactory pathway of the larval sea lamprey, Petromyzon marinus. J. Comp. Neurol. 420: 324-334.

Contact Us

University of Windsor
Department of Biological Sciences
401 Sunset Avenue
Windsor, Ontario
N9B 3P4

Email: zielin1@uwindsor.ca

Phone: 519 253 3000 ext. 2726