It’s the oldest sense, and in many ways the least essential. Sight, hearing, touch, taste – theyre all highly prized, despite the perfume industry and aromatherapy. And it’s hugely variable among individuals, it seems.
Richard Newcomb is Chief scientist at Plant and Food Research, Professor of Evolutionary Genetics at the University of Auckland, and Principal Investigator at the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution. His main area of research is studying the sense of smell, using molecular approaches to understanding the evolution of chemical sensing.
He talks with Kim Hill about the evolution of smell and its relationship with genetics.