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Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences

Graduate Program (M.Sc.) - Global Change Ecology

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Perception under water

Presenting person: Dr. Matthias Schott, Animal Ecology I, BayCEER, University of Bayreuth (Homepage)
Th. 2020-11-26 (12:15-13:45)

Communication between organisms is key to their reproduction and survival with chemical communication being the most widespread and oldest route for communication. In stark contrast to well-studied terrestrial chemical ecology, most utilized infochemicals and, respectively, their concentrations, receptive organs and receptors of this key communication channel are still unknown in the aquatic counterpart, especially in arthropods. By utilizing whole organ as well as single-cell electrophysiological measurements at the putative receptor sites under water, we are optimistic to be able to investigate the whole bandwidth of aquatic semiochemicals (allomones, kairomones, synomones, releaser and primer pheromones). Creative substance enrichment, chromatography and non-target mass spectrometry will enable us to narrow down the chemical blends that evoke physiological or behavioural changes. Behavioural, physiological or life-history experiments will be our litmus test for these chemicals. The verification of aquatic semiochemicals will enable us to investigate the evolution of chemical communication below water as well as their receptor sites. Simultaneously, these semiochemicals will allow us to investigate the infochemical effect - the alteration of the odour perception of organisms by anthropogenic substances – on a whole new level.  I hope to engage in discussion about problems and solutions, and possibly enable cooperation within and beyond BayCEER.

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