Crook Lab At CIAC!!

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Masters student Ryan Howard and PI Robyn Crook attended the CIAC meeting in Florida from Nov 12-16. Dr. Crook also attended a pre-meeting workshop on policy and welfare of cephalopods in research settings. The lab presented three posters, on learning behavior of Eupyrmna, effects of early-life injury on Euprymna behavior and neural excitability, and on how injury affects camouflage decisions in octopuses. The lab also gave a lightning talk on new work on cephalopod anesthesia, presented by collaborator Dr. Lisa Abbo.

Vivien and Stephanie to present posters at AAAS 2019

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Congratulations to Masters students Vivien Enriquez and Stephanie Bazarini, who had their abstracts accepted for poster presentations at the AAAS annual meeting in Washington DC, in February of 2019. Stephanie will be presenting her work on the interaction of injury and estrogenic pollutants, and Vivien will present her study of behavioral effects of Vibrio colonization on the bobtail squid.

Professors Ludovic Dickel and Anne-Sophie Darmaillacq visit the lab

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Cephalopod researchers Ludovic Dickel and Anne-Sophie Darmaillacq visited the Crook Lab on their Californian vacation. Professors Dickel and Darmaillacq are well known for their detailed work on cuttlefish cognition at their home institution, University of Caen, Normandy, France. It was an honor to have two very famous cephalopod researchers visiting the Crook Lab. While they were here, we snapped a photo of Ludovic with a very tiny Octopus bocki, which was used in a newspaper article (in french) about their work.

Congratulations Stephanie!!

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MS student Stephanie Bazarini was awarded a highly prestigious ARCS Foundation Scholarship to support her research in the Crook Lab. Stephanie is examining the role of environmental estrogen in modulating pain-like states after injury, using Euprymna scolopes as a model system. Her work combines behavioral assays and neurophysiological recordings. Congratulations Stephanie!

Congratulations Emily!!

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Crook Lab alum Emily Zepeda was awarded a highly prestigious NSF GRFP (Graduate Research Fellowship Program) fellowship for her PhD work at UC Davis. Emily was an undergraduate in the Crook Lab from 2016-2017, where she conducted a study on operant conditioning in Euprymna. Her work was published last year in The Biological Bulletin, and is the first published account of learning and memory in this squid species. Great job Emily!!

New Publication: Euprymna defensive behavior and habituation

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Congratulations to REU student Kia Seehafer and undergraduates Samantha Brophy and Sara Tom for successfully publishing their research in Frontiers in Physiology. Their paper “Ontogenetic and Experience-Dependent Changes in Defensive Behavior in Captive-Bred Hawaiian Bobtail Squid, Euprymna scolopes” began as an REU summer project for Kia, who came to the Crook Lab from Sacramento State University. Great work for all three authors! Read the open-access full text for all the details.

New Publication: Cephalopod Anesthesia

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Work done by Masters student Hanna Butler-Steuben and undergraduate students Samantha Brophy and Nasira Johnson was published today in Frontiers in Physiology. Congratulations Hanna, Sam and Nasira on fantastic work on this project. This paper demonstrates that the two most commonly used substances used to immobilize cephalopods during invasive procedures are effective as anesthetics. This paper will help researchers in countries where cephalopods are protected in research ensure that their practices are compliant with federal law. Read the full open-access article for all the details.

New Publication: Serotonin and Octopus Neurons

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Congratulations to undergraduate Paul Perez and MS student Hanna Butler-Struben for publishing their work in Invertebrate Neuroscience. Their paper titled “The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine increases spontaneous afferent firing, but not mechanonociceptive sensitization, in octopus” is the result of an independent research project led by Paul for the past year, with assistance from Hanna. Great work Paul and Hanna! Read the full text for all the details.