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How animals sample odors

Trainee Achievements

How animals sample odors

CiBER IGERT Trainee Lindsay Waldrop studies how animals sample odors in marine and terrestrial environments. Crabs are her model organism and sense chemical signals in their fluid surroundings using chemosensory hair arrays on antennules to discretely sample odor-laden fluid. Lindsay and her undergrads built seven models spanning a range of body width and used particle image velocimetry to visualize water flow within the arrays. She learned that marine crabs sniff at all life stages, despite changing Reynolds number by altering their flicking kinematics and antennule morphology during growth. Odor sampling in decapod crabs is not limited to marine environments. Lindsay found that terrestrial hermit crabs do not sniff, but use movement to increase odor transport to chemosensory hairs. To effectively study crab antennules, she made physical models using glass-blowing techniques at The Crucible, a non-profit industrial art and teaching studio in Oakland, CA.