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About Our Lab

The Johnsen Lab studies aspects of visual ecology. Recent and current projects include:

· The visibility of aquatic animals

· The relationship between tissue ultrastructure and transparency in animal bodies and human lenses

· The visual ecology of polarization vision

· Sexual signaling and warning coloration

· The ecology of deep-sea and midwater animals

· The physical basis of magnetoreception


The guiding principle is that the species and methods used must serve the central question. Methods used include: protein biochemistry, electron and light microscopy, magnetic resonance imaging, behavioral studies, net sampling, submersible operations, SCUBA diving, optical measurements of tissue and environment, and mathematical modeling. Marine pelagic species have been a strong focus, but benthic, freshwater and terrestrial systems have also been examined.

Duke University | Biological Sciences Bldg, Room 301 | (919) 660-7321 | sjohnsen@duke.edu