Roy Caldwell, Professor

Open (1) Behavior of Stomatopod Crustaceans

Open. Apprentices needed for the fall semester. Please do NOT contact faculty before September 11th (the start of the 4th week of classes)! Enter your application on the web beginning August 16th. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, August 29th at 8 AM.

Research in my laboratory is focused on stomatopod crustaceans, or mantis shrimp as they are commonly called. Stomatopods are marine predators that have evolved powerful raptorial appendages used in prey capture and processing as well as in inter- and intraspecific fighting. Current research in my laboratory is examining several aspects of stomatopod behavior including the evolution of mating systems, their sensory biology, locomotion and construction and learning.

Apprentices will have some choice concerning which projects they work on, depending on the availability of animals. One project I would like to see continue is examining what stimuli stomatopods use to distinguish possible prey. We will be looking at color, polarization and shape as variables that stomatopods might learn to use to select prey.

1. Animal care and feeding.

2. Participation in conducting research observations

Qualifications: I will be looking for three or four student apprentices this year. Students wishing to participate in these projects should have taken at least a course in General Biology. Courses in invertebrate biology and animal behavior would be useful. Practical knowledge in maintaining marine aquaria and using video equipment would also be helpful. Students will be expected to work approximately 6-9 hours per week caring for animals, designing and conducting their own research project, and writing a short paper at the end of the year summarizing their results.

Weekly Hours: 6-9 hrs

Related website: http://ib.berkeley.edu/labs/caldwell/
Related website: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/arthropoda/crustacea/malacostraca/eumalacostraca/royslist/

Open (2) The development and early behavior of octopuses.

Open. Apprentices needed for the fall semester. Please do NOT contact faculty before September 11th (the start of the 4th week of classes)! Enter your application on the web beginning August 16th. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, August 29th at 8 AM.

In my lab we also study octopus behavior. Very few octopus species have been successfully hatched and reared in the laboratory. Species with direct development might be useful for studying the early development of behavior. Since juvenile octopus must be reared individually, this is a labor intensive and time consuming task. I will be looking for two or three students interested in helping develop octopus husbandry techniques and participate in research topics looking at the development of behavior.

This project depends on acquiring animals that we can rear and maintain in the laboratory. We are attempting to import Octopus chierchiae to begin this research. This is an exceptionally rare species of pygmy octopus, but it has the advantage that unlike most octopuses, females can breed multiple times and produce large eggs that develop directly into juveniles that do not have a planktonic stage. We cannot predict if and when breeding female O. chierchiae will be available so we have to establish and maintain aquaria that can house them when they arrive This will be the responsibility of apprentices wishing to participate in this project.

1. Setting up and maintaining aquaria.

2. Participate in the maintenance of aquaria housing stomatopod crustaceans.

3. Care and feeding of O. chierchiae juveniles should they become available.

Qualifications: Students wishing to participate in these projects should have taken at least a course in General Biology. Courses in invertebrate biology and animal behavior would be useful. Practical knowledge in running marine aquaria and using video equipment would also be helpful. Students will be expected to work approximately 6-9 hours per week caring for animals, designing and conducting their own research project, and writing a short paper at the end of the year summarizing their results. Because the animals must be tended on a daily basis, some care will have to be provided on weekends.

Weekly Hours: 6-9 hrs

Related website: http://ib.berkeley.edu/labs/caldwell/