He is a Canadian researcher living in Texas doing behavioural research on the unusual crustacean creature, Marmorkrebs. He is interested in the evolution of behaviour and nervous systems, and particularly the origin of new behaviours. He uses Marmokrebs as his model organism for the following reasons.
- They give lots of embryos year round, giving lots of research samples
- They don’t need males to reproduce
- They are good to use if you don’t have a lab set-up to maintain sea creatures
- And, they are going to help Dr. Zen answer his evolutionary question: why do crayfish have giant neurons that some other crustaceans don’t have (such as hermit crabs)? (See his review paper: Faulkes, Z. (2008). Turning Loss Into Opportunity: The Key Deletion of an Escape Circuit in Decapod Crustaceans Brain, Behavior and Evolution, 72 (4), 251-261 DOI: 10.1159/000171488)
Marmorkrebs is an all-female species of marbled crayfish that reproduces asexually by parthenogenesis.
To learn more about his fascinating model organism, Marmorkrebs, visit this page:
To learn more about parthenogenesis in general, check out this article:
Please visit Dr. Zen’s faculty page to check out his many research articles.
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