The overarching theme of my research is unraveling the endocrine and neuroendocrine mechanisms regulating the growth, molting, sex differentiation, and reproduction of decapod crustaceans (crabs, shrimps, crayfish, lobsters, etc). My research particularly focuses on the regulatory system controlling biological processes of molting, before and after ecdysis of the blue crab, sex differentiation and female ovarian development at the cellular, tissue, and organismal levels. Primarily, I aim to localize, identify and characterize the necessary hormones in order to study their mode of actions, receptor characterization and signal transduction. The specific research areas are as follows:
My research interests are the hormonal mechanisms regulating molting, reproduction (male and female), sex differentiation, shell-hardening process and carbohydrate metabolism of decapod crustaceans. In my laboratory, we use hatchery-raised blue crab with known life history as our model animal and study 1) an inter-relationship between eyestalk neuropeptide and ecdysone/its nuclear receptors in molt control and 2) hormonal regulation of ovarian development, of sex-differentiation and developing life stage dependent sex-specific features, and of shell hardening process. My research also includes studying the adaptive physiological capacity and the response of the blue crab and other crustaceans to various environmental conditions: temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, infection, diseases and environmental contaminations (anthropogenic chemicals, oil, etc).
Two video clips show adult Carcinus molting and hatching processes.
|Copyright © 2011 The Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology|