Ashwin Bhandiwad
University of Washington
Department of Psychology
Guthrie Hall
Seattle, WA 98195

Google Scholar Profile


Ashwin received a BA in Biophysics at Johns Hopkins University (2007) and a MA/MS in Biology/Marine Biology at Northeastern University (2009). Before entering the PhD program at the University of Washington he was a Research Associate at Duke University in the lab of Sonke Johnsen (2009-2010). Ashwin joined the Sisneros lab in the Fall 2010.

Research Interests
Ashwin is interested in understanding how dynamic environments shape sensory performance. His work focuses on hearing sensitivity in larval fishes during ontogeny and after acute noise exposure. He is also working on a project seeking to understand how ecological factors can lead to evolutionary divergence in visual specialization in a three-spined stickleback species pair.

Ashwin's work has led to the development of a behavioral assay using prepulse inhbition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response to measure auditory thresholds in 5 dpf zebrafish. This assay has been used to show that auditory sensitivity at frequencies above 90 Hz are not dependent on the lateral line in these animals. Ashwin's dissertation work focuses on the effects of acute noise exposure and its effects on startle response sensitivity and loss of PPI.

Ashwin is also working on a project to behaviorally measure differences in low-level visual perception in the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) between a sympatric benthic-limnetic species pair.

Ashwin is also an associate organizer of the Beneath the Waves Film Festival (


Bhandiwad AA and JA Sisneros. 2016. Revisiting psychoacoustic methods for the assessment of fish hearing. In: Sisneros JA (Ed) Fish Hearing and Bioacoustics: An anthology in honor of Arthur N. Popper and Richard R. Fay. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, Vol. 877, pp. 157-184, Springer Science + Business Media, New York.

Coffin AB, Zeddies DG, Fay RR, Brown AD, Alderks PW, Bhandiwad AA, Mohr RA, Gray MD, Rogers PH and JA Sisneros. 2014. Use of the swim bladder and lateral line in near-field sound source localization by fishes. Journal of Experimental Biology.

Staaterman ER, Bhandiwad AA, Gravinese PM, Moeller PM, Reichenbach ZC, Shantz AA, Shiffman DS, Toth LT, Warneke AM, and AJ Gallagher. 2014. Lights, camera, science: The utility and growing popularity of film festivals at scientific meetings. Ideas in Ecology and Evolution 7:11-16.

Bhandiwad AA, Zeddies DG, Raible DW, Rubel EW and JA Sisneros. 2013. Auditory sensitivity of larval zebrafish (Danio rerio) measured using a behavioral prepulse inhibition assay. Journal of Experimental Biology 216:3504-3513.

Petersen CL, Timothy M, Kim DS, Bhandiwad AA, Mohr RA, Sisneros JA, and PM Forlano. 2013. Exposure to advertisement calls of reproductive competitors activates vocal-acoustic and catecholaminergic neurons in the plainfin midshipman fish, Porichthys notatus. Public Library of Science One 8(8):e70474

AA and S Johnsen 2011. The effects of salinity and temperature on the transparency of the grass shrimp Palaemonetes pugio. Journal of Experimental Biology 214:709-718.

Last updated 11-19-15