Event Details

Thursday, 24 March 2016 - Thursday, 24 March 2016
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
QBI Level 7 Auditorium
UQ Location:
Queensland Brain Institute (St Lucia)
Event category(s):

Event Contact

Ms Deirdre Wilson
3346 6300
Org. Unit:
Queensland Brain Institute

Event Description

Full Description:
Dr Sönke Johnsen, Professor of Biology, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

Title: Colorful but colorblind shrimp, not so cryptic silvery fish, and the giant eyes of giant squid: Three short tales of biological optics

The ocean, with its complex light field and astonishing diversity of organisms, is a natural laboratory for studying how animals interact with light. This talk is divided into three parts. In the first, we examine the visual abilities of a colorfully patterned group of crustaceans known as cleaner shrimp using behavioral and electrophysiological assays and find that not only are they colorblind, but that their visual acuity is so coarse that they can barely see at all. Secondly, we examine silvery fish, whose mirrored sides function as a form of camouflage. We show that the structure of the light field is such that the strategy is severely challenged, and also examine the potential for this camouflage to be broken in situ by animals that possess the ability to detect the polarization of light. Finally, we look at the eyes of giant squid, which are over 27 times more voluminous than the next largest eyes and develop a physiologically based visual model to determine what the advantage of such large eyes might be. We find that the eyes are most likely adapted for the ability to see very large and distant low-contrast targets underwater, perhaps even sperm whales.

Directions to UQ

Google Map:
To St Lucia Campus, UQ Ipswich, and UQ Gatton.

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