Fish use chemical camouflage from diet to hide from predators.
December 10, 2014
A new study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Scociety B has shown how the coral-feeding harlequin filefish (Oxymonacanthus longirostris) takes on the scent of its food, masking itself from predators. This is the first known demonstration of chemical crypsis via the diet in a vertebrate. This study was led by current Dixson lab post-doctoral fellow Dr. Rohan Brooker. For more information see the National Geographic article here.
Undergraduates Jamie O'Donnell and Kathryn Martin both awarded PURA funding. Congratulations!
Student-made music video features Dixson et al., 2012 study
November 20, 2014
Created by students for Dr. Jeremy Long's chemical ecology course at San Diego State University, this video focuses on Dixson's study of reef fishes' ability to identify predators through olfactory cues associated with recent prey items. Published December 6, 2012 for Chem Eco Bio Logik
Recent shark study featured in 'Sherman's Lagoon' comic strip
October 17, 2014
© 2014 Jim Toomey | Distributed by King Features Syndicate
Dixson is a partner in the Nifty Fifty program for the 4th USA Science & Engineering Festival
September 22, 2014
The Nifty Fifty (times 4) are over 200 of the most dynamic scientists and engineers in the United States. They were selected for their unique ability to inspire the next generation of students to pursue careers in the STEM fields. They were chosen from among thousands of candidates nominated by over 500 leading professional science and engineering societies, universities, research institutions, government agencies, STEM education outreach organizations and leading high tech and life science companies. Visit this link for more details.
Reduced odor tracking in sharks as ocean acidification increases
September 10, 2014
These findings show that shark feeding could be affected by changes in seawater chemistry projected for the end of this century. Understanding the effects of ocean acidification on critical behaviors, such as prey tracking in large predators, can help determine the potential impacts of future ocean acidification on ecosystem function.
Marine protected areas might not be enough to help overfished reefs recover
August 21, 2014
Young corals and fish turned off by smell of damaged habitats
Damaged coral reefs emit chemical cues that repulse young coral and fish, discouraging them from settling in the degraded habitat, according to new research. The study shows for the first time that coral larvae can smell the difference between healthy and damaged reefs when they decide where to settle.
“If you’re setting up a marine protected area to seed recruitment into a degraded habitat, that recruitment may not happen if young fish and coral are not recognizing the degraded area as habitat,” said Danielle Dixson, an assistant professor in the School of Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, and the study's first author.