Roy Caldwell

Professor of Integrative Biology
Keywords: materials, evolution
Research Areas: invertebrate behavior and ecology, marine biology, stomatopods, crustaceans, cephalopods, octopus, mating systems, communication, sensory ecology, aggressive behavior, coral reef restoration
Website: http://ib.berkeley.edu/labs/caldwell/

Research Description:

My research interests lie in invertebrate behavior and ecology with much of my work centering on the behavioral ecology of stomatopod crustaceans, a group of tropical marine predators. The initial focus of this research was on how the evolution of potentially lethal weapons influenced stomatopod biology. These studies dealt mainly with communication and the function of aggression. More recent research has expanded to include the evolution of mating systems, interspecific communication, sensory ecology, prey selection, the biomechanics of the strike and larval biology. We are currently initiating studies on the genetic structure of stomatopod populations attempting to deduce the timing and pathways of dispersal. We have also used stomatopod populations as bio-indicators to assess the health of tropical coastal habitats. I have also become interested in the behavior of blue-ringed and other pygmy octopuses. We are currently studying the reproductive and aggressive behavior of several Indo-Pacific species. Much of my research is centered in the tropical Indo-Pacific including programs at Lizard Island, Moorea, and Indonesia.

Graduate students in my laboratory are not constrained to working on tropical marine invertebrates although an emphasis is maintained on invertebrate behavior and ecology. Students in my laboratory are currently studying deep-sea isopod biology, octopus behavior and systematics, TTX in blue-ring octopuses and possible resistance in their prey, multimodal communication in fiddler crabs and the function of inking in mid-water squid.

Selected publications:

  • Patek, S.N. and R.L. Caldwell. 2006. The stomatopod rumble: sound production in Hemisquilla californiensis. Mar. Freshwater Beh. Physiol. 39:99-111.
  • Fox, H. E., P. J. Mous, J. S. Pet, A. H. Muljadi and R. L. Caldwell. 2005. Experimental assessment of coral reef rehabilitation following blast fishing. Conservation Biology 19:98-107.
  • Patek, S.N. and R. L. Caldwell. 2005.Extreme impact and cavitation forces of a biological hammer: strike forces of the peacock mantis shrimp (Odontodactylus scyllarus). J. Exp. Biol. 208:3655-3664.
  • Caldwell, R.L. 2005. An observation of inking behaviour protecting adult Octopus bocki from predation by Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) hatchlings. Pacific Science 59:69-72.
  • Patek, S.N., W.L. Korff and R.L. Caldwell, Mantis shrimp strike at high speeds with a saddle-shaped spring. Nature 428: 819-820.
  • Mazel, C. H., T.W. Cronin, R.L. Caldwell and N.J. Marshall. 2004. Fluorescent enhancement of signaling in a mantis shrimp. Science 303:51.
  • Fox, H. E., J. S. Pet, R. Dahuri, and R. L. Caldwell. 2003. Recovery in rubble fields: long-term impacts of blast fishing. Marine Pollution Bulletin 46:1024-1031.
  • Cronin T. W., N. Shashar, R. L. Caldwell, A.G. Cheroske and T. H.Chiou. 2003. Polarization vision and its role in biological signaling. Integr. Comp. Biol. 43:549-558.
  • Cronin, T.W., N.J. Marshall and R. L. Caldwell. 2001. Tunable colour vision in a mantis shrimp. Nature 411:547-548.
  • Cheng, M.W. and R. L. Caldwell. Sex determination and mating in the blue-ringed octopus, Hapalochlaena lunulata. Anim. Behav. 60:27-33.
  • Holder, M.T., M.V. Erdmann, T.P. Wilcox, R.L. Caldwell and D.M. Hillis. 1999. Two Living Species of Coelacanths? Proc. Nat. Acad. Science 96:12616-12620.
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