Our field studies of natural behavior are tightly integrated with our efforts
to uncover how sensory and motor systems are used to generate and control
behavior. We measure the electrosensory consequences of social interactions
in natural settings to obtain new insights in both how to probe the nervous
system and how to interpret neural results.
A sonogram showin the electrical interactions of three Eigenmannia
in a stream in the Ecuadorian Amazon basin.
More recently we've been examining
locomotor behavior in the natural habitat in
relation to social and other cues.
JW Player goes here
A short video showing the movements of two
Brachyhypopomus in Orchidea creek at Sacha Lodge, Ecuador.
Our field work also has important technological, conservation, and teaching components.
We have been developing and deploying low-cost monitoring systems for weakly electric
fishes that can be used in conservation efforts in sensitive Amazon habitats. We also
involve local students and scientists in every aspect of this work.
| ||Stamper, S.A., Carrera-G, E., Tan, E.W., Fugere, V., Krahe, R., and
E.S. Fortune (2010) Species differences in group size and electrosensory
interference in weakly electric fishes: Implications for electrosensory
processing. Behav Brain Res., PMID:19874855.
|| We describe the
electrosensory structure of multi-species flocks of Gymnotiform fishes along
the Napo River in eastern Ecuador.
We find that Apteronotus form groups of conspecifics, whereas
Sternopygus are most commonly found alone. Interestingly, groups of 3 or
more Apteronotus appear to not produce low-frequency 'envelopes' in the
combined electric field. We believe that such envelopes might impair
electrosensory function, and thus the fish may employ some currently unknown
behavior to avoid the potentially detrimental envelopes.
|| Tan, E.W., Nizar, J.M., Carrera-G, E., and E.S. Fortune
(2005) Electrosensory interference in naturally occurring aggregates of a
species of weakly electric fish, Eigenmannia virescens. Behav. Brain
|| Characterizes the
electric fields that are most commonly experienced by Eigenmannia both
in the upper Amazon of Ecuador and in laboratory settings. Eigenmannia
are preferentially found in groups and experience ongoing high-frequency (> 20
Hz) global oscillations.