Luminescence for Sex and Safety in Marine Ostracods: an Overview

A Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Seminar Series featuring JAMES MORIN, Dept of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University

Thursday, November 14, 2013
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
2320 Life Sciences Building

Abstract

Over the course of the past 30+ years my lab has been studying the natural history of luminescence in ostracods, tiny, sesame-seed-sized crustaceans, that are diverse and abundant throughout the world, but especially the shallow marine habitats in the Caribbean Sea. We have focused on a broad swath of approaches that include ecology, evolution, behavior, morphology, and systematics.  Ostracods use their light to both deter predators and in complex sexual courtship.  Life cycle characteristics and sexual selection on the male signal patterns has led to high species diversity [dozens of species in at least 5 genera] and high endemism in the Caribbean.  Males compete for females with coded luminescent secretions and females approach swimming males without luminescing. Their courtship displays probably have an impact on the nocturnal demersal plankton community and foraging behavior of fishes.  Using nanoCT technology we are beginning to understand the interwoven packaging and functioning of their visual, reproductive and light emitting systems.

Host: Paul Barber

Refreshments will be served at 11:40 a.m.