Nicolai Konow. Cand Scient. PhD student.
Currently at the Department of Marine Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, Qld. Australia.
Phone: +61 (07) 4781 5947
My current PhD programme addresses the trophic biology of butterflyfishes, family Chaetodontidae. These coral reef fishes show very variable jaw morphologies and they feed in many different ways.
Some are invertebrate browsers while others are obligate corallivores, and interestingly, their jaw morphology seems to change with food-source utilisation, so the components, or four-bar linkages, of the jaw apparatus (see illustration) are altered proportionally, and thus the function is altered.
The morphological analysis of, primarily the chaetodontid feeding apparatus, will yield a "functional morphospace" for the entire family. By comparing this with detailed studies of feeding behaviour I should extract vital information on the evolution and ecomorphology of butterflyfishes in particular and coral reef fish in general. Specimens are collected and studied in different localities on the Great Barrier Reef and from field stations on other coral reefs worldwide.
My Masters programme (1997-1998) addressed the retinal ontogenetic development, and functional morphology of a mesopelagic deep-sea fish, the Bighead Tubeshoulder Holtbyrnia anomala.
I used light microscopical techniques on retinal wholemounts, and sectioned retinal material, as well as TEM to survey the retinal development and obtain quantitative data on retinal architecture.
This allowed me to calculate qualitative estimates of retinal function and map the retinal development.
From 1999 I have been employed as a lecturing assistant in the department, teaching elementary zoology on the first year course, and advanced zoological morphology to majoring students.
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