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Lon Wilkens, Associate Director

Lon A. WilkensAssociate Director
Ph.D., Florida State University

Phone: (314) 516-6222
Fax: (314) 516-6233


Research Interests

Sensory systems have evolved with specialized adaptations necessary for survival. In my laboratory, evolutionary adaptations in sensory function have been investigated in a variety of organisms. These include receptor physiology and escape behavior in bivalve molluscs (the scallop and giant clam Tridacna), vision and bioluminescence in polychaete annelids, mechanosensitivity in crustaceans (crayfish and lobsters) with emphasis on orientation and locomotory behaviors (e.g. feeding, escape, mating), and electroreception in the paddlefish.

The passive electrosense of the paddlefish is associated with the uniquely elongated rostrum of this fish and evolved relative to the ontogeny of planktivorous feeding. Current studies in my laboratory include: 1) video analysis of electrically-mediated feeding behavior in the paddlefish along with physiological/neuroanatomical analysis of the electrosensory system in the paddlefish brain and 2) dynamical sensory properties of crayfish tactile sensilla with respect to noise, and the mechanisms of sensory integration centrally that encode stimulus direction and velocity of hydrodynamic signals.

Selected Publications