Novel larval model of degeneration (New project funded by Owens Foundation)
This is a fast moving exciting new project: contact lab for more info.
Larval vision (Nature Communications, 2013, J Comp Phys 2015; funded by Hobby Foundation)
We found that a piece of plastic super-glued to the side of a larva makes them writhe for about 5'. This is part of the locomotion adaptation project to see how crawling adapts to a rigid splint. What we noticed was that other larvae tend to congregate around the writhing member. We found that this was visual based as larvae tethered on the other side of clear plastic are attractive.
See also Nature Comm. 3: 56
Larvae attracted to tethered larvae on the other side of a Petri dish:
Currently, we are examining how this behavior develops and how the system can 'see' with only a dozen photoreceptors on each side. We have identified a range of genetic loci and environmental stimuli that are critical for this behavior. This has many implications for how larvae form social behavior
Larval social behavior (Current Biology, in press; funded by NSF and Hobby Foundation)
This project is all based on this video: