Dr. Jelle Atema of the BU Department of Biology, will be joining the course faculty in CC106: Biodiversity this coming spring. His areas of research interest include sensory biology and biometic robotics, and he is currently involved in studies of the chemical ecology of lobsters, the dispersal of larvae in reef fishes, and navigation in sharks. This last topic attracted the attention of BU Today’s Sue Seligson, who profiled Prof. Atema in an article published today:
In Atema’s lab, odor plumes are manufactured from the pungent contents of a pile of squid stashed in the laboratory fridge. Although all available science suggests that it’s a myth, no one, he jokes, has actually tested the popular assertion that sharks can sense a single drop of blood a mile away. But there’s another bit of shark lore swimming around on the internet: for every two humans killed by sharks, humans kill two million sharks. That one, says Atema, just might be true.
Those of you interested in learning more about Prof. Atema’s work with sharks can read this interview he did with Discovery.com,where he explains a shark’s view of the world.
FUN FACT. You may have seen The Secret of Lobsters (Harper, 2005) in bookstores; the author of this best-seller, Trevor Corson, has been a research collaborator of Prof. Atema.