Dr. Scott Juntti interview

Dr. Scott Juntti.
Just before COVID-19 reared its ugly head here in the states, I came across a university lab doing some fascinating cichlid research on breeding behavior. Using Astatotilapia burtoni, a maternal mouthbrooder from Lake Tanganyika in Africa, as the model fish for the research, Dr. Scott Juntti’s lab is attempting to unlock some of the mysteries surrounding A. burtoni breeding behavior.

Dr. Juntti became interested in neuroscience as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin, where he fell in love with life in the lab. After completing his undergraduate work, including stops at labs in Germany and San Diego, he began his graduate work at the University of California, San Francisco. There he began working in Dr. Nirao Shah’s lab, where he studied social behavior using molecular genetic approaches in mice.

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What shell characteristics do Neolamprologus multifasciatus prefer?

Photo of Neolamprologus multifasciatus in Lake Tanganyika. Jordan, Lyndon & Maguire, Sean & Hofmann, Hans & Kohda, Masanori. (2016). 

In the wild, creatures of all sorts have a plethora of options for shelter, breeding, nesting, etc. Some build their own, and others simply take advantage of what’s around them. Fish are no different.

However, your tank is not “the wild.” What is available to your cichlids is what you provide. They can’t move off to another area in search of something different or better. You force them to choose from what you give them. So if provided multiple options, what would your cichlids choose and/or use?

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Drs. Chloé Laubu and François-Xavier Dechaume-Moncharmont Interview

 

Professor François-Xavier Dechaume-Moncharmont. 

 

Dr. Chloé Laubu. 
 

A few weeks ago, I was searching for a scholarly article on something cichlid related and stumbled upon some interesting research on convict cichlids. I downloaded the paper and read it. I then looked up the authors and discovered that they regularly use cichlids in their research. I reached out to them about doing an interview for the blog and, thankfully, they agreed.

Professor François-Xavier Dechaume-Moncharmont is a behavioral ecologist who teaches at the University of Lyon in Lyon, France. His research focus is the evolution of decision making, within a sexual context, of fish.

Dr. Chloé Laubu is a former student of Dr. Dechaume-Moncharmont, and her research focuses on mood and personality of convict cichlids in a sexual context. Dr. Laubu works in the Laboratoire Biogéosciences at the University of Burgundy. The two researchers have authored several papers together, and their research is quite complementary.

 

With the introductions out of the way, let’s get started.

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Dr. Todd Streelman interview

 Dr. Todd Streelman

Several months ago, I came across some studies on African cichlids that I thought were intriguing and I thought you, the reader, might also be interested. I reached out to the man behind this research and asked him if he would be willing to do an interview for the blog. Thankfully, he agreed.

Dr. Todd Streelman is Professor and Chair of the School of Biological Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech as it’s more commonly known). With degrees from Bucknell and University of South Florida, Dr. Streelman did his post-doc work at the University of New Hampshire. His research focuses on the relationship between genotype and phenotype in wild vertebrates, using African cichlids as a research model. 

For more information, visit the Streelman lab website.

Can you describe your lab’s fish room for the readers?

Our fish room was redesigned as part of a new building on Georgia Tech’s campus in 2015. The room currently consists of ~70 40-gallon tanks and 6 20-gallon tanks (all on a recirculating system) and a separate brood rack. Custom design by Tecniplast. The cichlid room sits within a larger animal facility.

Continue reading this post…Dr. Todd Streelman interview