Ph.D research conducted at the Bodega Marine Laboratory
My studies are concerned with the role of hormones in regulating physiological processes in decapod Crustacea (crabs and lobsters). Hormones are chemical mediators that regulate physiological processes such as growth, reproduction, and osmoregulation. I am interested in the mechanism by which hormones such as ecdysteroids, methyl farnesoate, and molt-inhibiting hormone regulate growth and reproduction in decapod crustaceans. The majority of crustaceans that I study are commercially important crabs. These include Dungeness crab, Cancer magister, snow crab, Chionoecetes opilio, and king crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus.
Ecdysteroids are crustacean hormones that function to regulate the molt cycle and therefore the growth of these animals. Methyl farnesoate is a sesquiterpenoid hormone derived from the mandibular organ that functions in both reproduction and growth. Methyl farnesoate also may be critical during crustacean larval development and morphogenesis. Methyl farnesoate is structurally similar to the insect juvenile hormones, which regulate insect development.
Other studies related to crustacean physiology involve the effect of endogenous crustacean hormones on ectoparasites. Specifically, I have an interest in how hormones (ecdysteroids, methyl farnesoate) can be exploited by certain parasites. The model for these studies is the infection of the Dungeness crab, Cancer magister by the nemertean worm, Carcinonemertes errans.
- B105 & B106 Fundamentals of Biology
- B305 Invertebrate Zoology
- B310 Animal Physiology
- B375 Current Topics in Biology
- B415 Physiology of Marine Organisms
- B498 Research in Crustacean Biology