Dr Will Norton

Associate Professor of Animal Biology

School/Department: Genetics and Genome Biology, Department of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 5078



I completed a BSc in Neuroscience at the University of Sheffield before moving to UCL to study for my PhD with Steve Wilson. I then spent ten years as a postdoc working in EMBL Heidelberg the Helmholtz centre Munich and the CNRS (Gif/Yvette France).


My current research investigates the genes and neural circuits that control aggression with links to human psychiatric disorders that include aggression as a symptom such as autism or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. I am also interested in promoting fish welfare by improving the techniques used to handle them in the lab. Recent funding has come from the NC3Rs Marie-Curie foundation and the EU framework programme.



Tilley, C.A., Carreño Gutierrez H., Sebire M., Obasaju O., Reichammn, F., Katsiadaki I., Barber I. and Norton W.H.J. (2020). Skin swabbing is a refined technique to collect DNA from model fish species. Scientific Reports Vol 10, 18212.

Reichmann, F., Rimmer N., Tilley C.A., Dalla Vecchia E., Pinion J., Al Oustah A., Carreño Gutierrez H., Young A.M.J., McDearmid J.R., Winter M.J., Norton, W.H.J. (2020). The zebrafish histamine H3 receptor modulates aggression, neural activity and forebrain functional connectivity. Acta Physiologica 230, Issue 4, e13543.

Gutierrez, H.C., Vacca, I., Schoenmacker, G., Cleal, M., Tochwin, A., O'Connor, B., Young, A.M.J., Vasquez, A.A., Winter, M.J., Parker, M.O., Norton, W.H.J. (2020) Screening for drugs to reduce zebrafish aggression identifies caffeine and sildenafil. European neuropsychopharmacology : the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology 30:17-29

Carreño Gutierrez, H., Colanesi, S., Cooper, B., Reichmann, F., Young, A.M.J., Kelsh, R.N., Norton, W.H.J. (2019) Endothelin neurotransmitter signalling controls zebrafish social behaviour. Scientific Reports 9:3040

Dalla Vecchia, E., Mortimer, N., Palladino, V.S., Kittel-Schneider, S., Lesch, K.P., Reif, A., Schenck, A., Norton, W.H.J. (2019). Cross-species models of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder: lessons from CNTNAP2, ADGRL3, and PARK2. Psychiatric genetics 29:1-17

Norton, W.H.J. (2018). Screening for drugs to reduce aggression in zebrafish. Neuropharmacology 156:107394

Bitetti, A., Mallory, A.C., Golini, E., Carrieri, C., Carreño Gutierrez, H., Perlas, E., Pérez-Rico, Y.A., Tocchini-Valentini, G.P., Enright, A.J., Norton, W.H.J., Mandillo, S., O'Carroll, D., Shkumatava, A. (2018). MicroRNA degradation by a conserved target RNA regulates animal behavior. Nature structural & molecular biology 25(3):244-251

Breacker, C., Barber, I., Norton, W.H.J., McDearmid, J.R., Tilley, C.A. (2017). A Low-Cost Method of Skin Swabbing for the Collection of DNA Samples from Small Laboratory Fish. Zebrafish 14(1):35-41

Jones, L.J., McCutcheon, J.E., Young, A.M., Norton, W.H.J. (2015). Neurochemical measurements in the zebrafish brain. Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience 9:246

Lange, M., Norton, W.H.J., Coolen, M., Chaminade, M., Merker, S., Proft, F., Schmitt, A., Vernier, P., Lesch, K.P., and Bally-Cuif, L. (2012). The ADHD-susceptibility gene lphn3.1 modulates dopaminergic neuron formation and locomotor activity during zebrafish development. Molecular psychiatry 17(9):946-954



Behavioural Neuroscience

Basic biology of aggression and social behaviour

Fish health and welfare

Novel behavioural tasks for fish


BSc Biological Sciences

BSc Biological Sciences (Zoology)

BSc Biological Sciences (Genetics)

BSc Biological Sciences (Neuroscience)


BS1000 First year tutorials

BS1070 Biodiversity and Behaviour

BS3016 Neuroscience Futures

BS3078 Subtropical Physiology and Behaviour

BS3080 Behavioural Ecology

BS3X00 Final year projects.

BS4601 MSc in Animal Behaviour.

MCBG Phase 1 Medical Cell Biology and Genetics

Press and media

Skin swabbing as a technique to collect DNA from fish species

Fish welfare research


Member of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology

Fisheries Society of the British Isles

EuFishBioMed (the European Zebrafish Society)


Honorary Professor Faculty of Science Eötvös Loránd University Budapest Hungary


PhD Development Neuroscience

BSc Neuroscience

Back to top
arrow-downarrow-down-3arrow-down-2arrow-down-4arrow-leftarrow-left-3arrow-left-2arrow-leftarrow-left-4arrow-rightarrow-right-3arrow-right-2arrow-right-4arrow-uparrow-up-3arrow-up-2arrow-up-4book-2bookbuildingscalendar-2calendarcirclecrosscross-2facebookfat-l-1fat-l-2filtershead-2headinstagraminstagraminstagramlinkedinlinkedinmenuMENUMenu Arrowminusminusrotator-pausec pausepinrotator-playplayc playplussearchsnapchatsnapchatthin-l-1thin-l-2ticktweettwittertwittertwitterwechatweiboweiboyoutubeyoutube