Research in my laboratory is aimed at understanding animal behavior and how it is modulated by monoamine neurotransmitters. Several lines of research are currently underway and summer research students will have the opportunity to participate in one or more of these projects. A major focus is on examining how serotonin receptor subtypes affect feeding behavior, aggression, and locomotion. Future experiments will use a pharmacological approach to characterize how several serotonin receptor agonists and antagonists affect food consumption, general activity level, and dominance status in crayfish and/or crickets. We will also look at other neurotransmitters, including dopamine and octopamine, and begin to characterize their effects on behavior. Past studies in my lab have examined spatial learning strategies that crayfish use to explore and remember new environments, and additional experiments on this topic are also possible.
A prerequisite for this project is Introduction to Neuroscience (Neur 170). Preference may be given to students who have taken upper-level courses with Prof. Tierney (Neur/Biol/Psyc 384 or 385).