Marine fishes live in complex environments and show complex behaviors. I study their mating systems, and symbiotic behavior:
- I will give a guided tour through fish reproductive behavior, which includes nest building, monogamy, life birth, mouth brooding and male pseudo-parasitism. One strategy which is curiously missing is eusociality, and I will argue that this is due to the physical and biological boundary conditions found in the ocean. Specifically, long-range dispersal of larvae, sparsity of resource bursts, and the temporal frequency of physical disturbances in the oceans make the evolution of eusociality unlikely.
- A highly interesting symbiosis is the cooperation between gobies (small perciform fishes) and alpheid shrimp, where the shrimp constructs a burrow and the goby acts as a watchman. Using a database of fish anatomy, we show that the fish does NOT invest extra energy into its visual system as a consequence of the symbiosis. Lastly, I will present preliminary work on the possible neurobiological basis of the fish-shrimp communication system.
Klaus M. Stiefel did his undergraduate work at the University of Vienna (microbiology) and his doctoral work at the University of Vienna and the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research (zoology/neuroscience). Research stints at the Salk Institute (La Jolla, USA), OIST (Japan) and the University of Western Sydney (Australia) followed. Currently Klaus is affiliated with the Neurolinx Research Institute (La Jolla, USA) and is based as an independent scientist in the Philippines, the epicenter of marine biodiversity. Klaus' research interest include fish biodiversity, reproduction & symbiosis (in marine biology) and neural oscillators (in neurobiology).