Physics graduate student Charlie Fieseler, mentored by CNC theorist Nathan Kutz, recently successfully defended his thesis on neuronal dynamics in the model organism C. elegans. Taking advantage of the experimental insight into  behavioral encoding of the neuronal activity and the underlying structural circuits in C. elegans, Fieseler proposed a framework for C. elegans neuronal dynamics from a control theory perspective. The model suggested a core dynamic system that produced simple signals, which were then actuated by control signals producing behavioral states. This model brings together three biological observations: the observations are produced by a single network, within a behavior the activity is simple, and transitions between behaviors happen at a fast timescale. More on Dr. Fieseler’s work can be seen in a recent preprint in arXiv. Dr. Fieseler plans to continue working on C. elegan dynamics during a postdoc with Dr. Manuel Zimmer at University of Vienna.