We study the visual physiology of invertebrates, especially of marine and estuarine crustaceans. Most of my recent work has been with the mantis shrimps, or stomatopods, a unique group of tropical crustaceans that have extremely complicated behavior and perhaps the most unusual eyes ever evolved. I am working with their color vision systems (they have up to 16 spectral channels), their photic environments, their systems of color communication, the dynamics of their photoreceptor cells, and their ocular movements and control systems. In recent years, we have initiated a study of the molecular genetics of their opsins, the proteins that underlie the detection of light. We want to learn how the photoreceptors evolved and how their visual proteins are specialized for color vision and for seeing the polarized-light signals that many species of mantis shrimps produce.
Fellow of the AAAS; Fellow of the International Society for Neuroethology