Geomagnetic Orientation Behavior in the PNW Sea Slug Tritonia: Research on a Not Yet Understood Sensory Mode with Implications for Survival in a Changing Climate

Dennis Willows

UW Professor Emeritus, Biology

Start Time & Date

Start Time & Date

Tritonia orienting to bite polyps from a sea pen

Western Washington University has shifted to entirely online classes for Spring, 2020. As such, the Huxley Speaker Series is revisiting some of our favorite presentations from the Archives.

This talk was originally presented as part of the Huxley Speaker Series in Spring 2018.

Nudibranch mollusks not surprisingly orient to optimize finding and capturing sea pens, their prey.  How do these sea slugs do it in a complex sensory environment where odor cues are carried on water currents driven by tides, seasons,  local geography and changing climate factors?   Evidence from field work using SCUBA as well as electrophysiological recording from individual brain cells suggest they detect the earth’s feeble magnetic field and use it to determine the shoreward direction.  This information also provides critical cues to the location of their prey. 

 

Dennis Willows

Dennis Willows, UW Professor Emeritus of Biology, is a neurobiologist interested the way nervous systems are wired to drive coherent behavior. He was Director of the UW Friday Harbor Laboratories and Director of the Neurobiology Program of the US National Science Foundation

More Information

The Huxley Environmental Speaker Series is hosted by Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University.

The Series is free and open to the public.

Location & Time

Presentations are held each Thursday at 4:30pm On-campus and ONLINE.

COVID

Due to the pandemic, the in-person presentations are not open to the public. However, the talks will be live-streamed ONLINE for the off-campus audience.

 

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