MS Applied Molecular Biology, UMBC, 2007; BS Biology, University of Delaware, 2006
Mantis shrimp Odontodactylus scyllarus
I study the ultraviolet (UV) visual system of mantis shrimp, or stomatopods. These colorful crustaceans have the most sophisticated array of photoreceptors in the animal kingdom, possessing at least sixteen types of photoreceptors sensitive to wavelengths of light from deep in the UV through to the far red. In the UV range alone, they are sensitive to at least five distinct 'colors' as well as the polarization of UV light.
My research aims to understand the optical and molecular components of this unique UV visual system, as well as its evolution throughout the stomatopod order, and its significance to the ecology and behavior of these fascinating and charismatic predators.
You can find me online at my science blog Arthropoda
or on Google +