This month the Knouft lab has been hosting Tony Dell, Ashley Olson, Maria Kuruvilla, and Andrew Berdahl who have been taking advantage of some of our under-utilized lab space. They represent a collaboration between NGRREC and the University of Washington (Seattle). It has been great to see the fascinating work they are doing!
These researchers are collaborating on a project to see how temperature impacts the behavior of fish that experience the appearance of an aggressor. In this case, the aggressor is a video played on a tablet. In this video, a small dot hovers in the middle of the screen. After a prescribed period of time, that dot grows larger, resembling an advancing predator. The response is video recorded, allowing the team to make very accurate measurements of parameters like time to response and distance moved.
The video below shows a demonstration of the predatory dot in action. The tablet at the top shows the dot which begins to grow at about 9 seconds into the video. See how these fish respond!
The team will be completing their work soon and will be returning to their respective homes. I have enjoyed the chance to see this study develop and will miss their enthusiasm and creativity.