Ilia Solov’yov received a Ph.D. in Physics from Frankfurt University in Germany in 2008 and a Candidate of Science degree in Theoretical Physics from the Ioffe Physical-Technical Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2009. His current research interests cover a broad range of questions on the structure and dynamics of nanosystems and biomolecules. Specifically his research explores animal magnetoreception in creatures including migratory birds. This work could eventually lead to solutions in protecting airports from birds.
His Topic of Materials' Days 2011:
Magnetoreception mechanisms in birds -towards the discovery of the sixth sense
Many animals are able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and use it for their orientation. Starting in the 1960s this magnetic sense was first described for higher organisms and later also experimentally shown for bacteria. The best investigated magnetic sense today is the compass of migrating birds. But even there, many details still elude the investigation. Most likely, the animal magnetic sense is based on two types of receptors, one containing tiny magnetic minerals, and the other one possessing reactive free radicals. I will discuss both mechanisms and present results of recent theoretical analysis aimed towards understanding the nature of the magnetoreception mechanism.
 I.A. Solov‘yov and W. Greiner, Biophys. J. 93, 1493 (2007)
 I.A. Solov‘yov and W. Greiner, Eur. Phys. J. D 51, 161 (2009)
 I.A. Solov‘yov and W. Greiner, Phys. Rev. E, 80, 041919 (2009)
 Solov‘yov I.A., Chandler D., and Schulten K., Biophysical Journal 92, 2711 (2007).
 Solov’yov I.A., Chandler D., and Schulten K., Plant Signaling & Behavior 3, 676 (2008).
 Solov‘yov I.A., and Schulten K., Biophysical Journal 96, 4804 (2009).
 Solov‘yov I.A., Mouritsen H., and Schulten K., Biophysical Journal 99, 40 (2010).
 I.A. Solov'yov, K. Schulten and W. Greiner Physik Journal 9, 23 (2010).