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Duncan Bernardo Leitch is a neurobiologist working at the University of California San Francisco. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1984. Leitch attended Vanderbilt University, where he gained recognition for his work on the integumentary sensory organs in crocodilians.
In 2012, Kenneth C. Catania and Leitch published a study on the somatosensory sensation of crocodilians, including American alligators and Nile crocodiles in the Journal of Experimental Biology. This garnered public attention in the journals Nature, Science, National Geographic, and international news media. In this work, he and Catania describe the physiological response properties of neurons in the trigeminal ganglion, showing that the sense of touch in crocodilians surpasses those of human fingertips, despite being a thickly-scaled surface.
- Leitch, Duncan B. and K. Catania (2012-10-13). "Structure, innervation and response properties of integumentary sensory organs in crocodilians". J. Exp. Biol. 215 (Pt 23): 4217–30. doi:10.1242/jeb.076836. PMC 4074209. PMID 23136155.
- Shannon Fischer (8 November 2012). "Croc Jaws More Sensitive Than Human Fingertips". National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on 17 November 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
- Bellono, Nicholas W.; Leitch, Duncan B.; Julius, David (June 2018). "Molecular tuning of electroreception in sharks and skates". Nature. 558 (7708): 122–126. Bibcode:2018Natur.558..122B. doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0160-9. ISSN 1476-4687. PMC 6101975. PMID 29849147.
- Bellono, Nicholas W.; Leitch, Duncan B.; Julius, David (March 16, 2017). "Molecular basis of ancestral vertebrate electroreception". Nature. 543 (7645): 391–396. Bibcode:2017Natur.543..391B. doi:10.1038/nature21401. ISSN 1476-4687. PMC 5354974. PMID 28264196.