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Comparative and Integrative Vision Research

Symposium Organizers:

Sonke Johnsen (Duke University), Todd Oakley (UC Santa Barbara), Mason Posner (Ashland University)

Biology is becoming increasingly integrative and the traditional lines between fields are becoming ever more blurred. For two of many possible examples witness the use of comparative studies to understand the molecular basis of stress response (references to be added) or the use of phylogenetic methods in ecology. These movements toward integration provide valuable lessons for researchers in any field: Crossing disciplinary lines usually yields new insights and deeper understanding of the questions at hand.

Vision research has traditionally played a significant role in integrative biology. A complete understanding of visual systems requires knowledge of physics, morphology, cell and molecular biology and development. However, there have been few current attempts to integrate the vast new amount of information in the diverse fields of vision science. This symposium has been organized to showcase the benefits of cross-disciplinary integration for a diverse scientific audience.

List of Speakers

Eye Development/Evolution

Todd Oakley
The Tao of Eye Evolution and Development: A duplication model unifies apparently opposite resolutions of the paradox of eye evolution

Markus Friedrich
From Lobes to Discs: Evolution of insect eye development

William Jeffery
The Lens as an Organizer of Eye Development and Evolution: A View from the Blind Cavefish, Astyanax

Eye Morphology and Visual Physiology

Almut Kelber
Colour Vision Abilities in Sphingid Moths

Tom Cronin Polarization Vision and its Role in Underwater Signaling

Melissa Coates
An Eye for each Reason: The multiple eye types of a box jellyfish, Tripedalia cystophora

Molecular Evolution of the Eye

Joram Piatigorsky
Gene Sharing as an Evolutionary Strategy for Lens Crystallins

Mason Posner and Joseph Horwitz
A Comparative View of Alpha Crystallin Chaperone Function in the Vertebrate Lens

Belinda Chang
Recreating a Functional Ancestral Archosaur Visual Pigment

Vision and the Environment

Sonke Johnsen
Mirrors or Colors? Successful Fashions for Crypsis in the Pelagic Realm

Tammy Frank
Adaptations in Deep-Sea Crustaceans for Vision in Light-Limited Environments

Richard Prum
Phylogenetic Fourier Analyses of the Biophysics and Evolution of Avian Structural Colors