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Faculty and Research

Faculty Member

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Douglas D. Gaffin Douglas D. Gaffin David Ross Boyd Professor, Biology Richards Hall 413 & 100 405-325-5149 Ph.D., Zoology/Neurophysiology - Oregon State University, 1994

Research:

We are interested in how animals detect, process, and use sensory information to move about their native habitats. We are particularly interested in the neural circuitry that underlies these behaviors. Sand scorpions are our animal of choice because of their clean native habitat, slow walking behavior, fluorescent cuticle, and conduciveness to electrophysiological investigation. We are also testing the “navigation by scene familiarity” hypothesis using algorithms inspired from ants and bees and are exploring the possibility that the ornate pectinal organs of scorpions may be involved in navigation via chemo-textural familiarity.

Selected Publications:

Gaffin, D .D. and Brayfield, B. P. (2016) Autonomous visual navigation of an indoor environment using a parsimonious, insect inspired familiarity algorithm. PLOS ONE 11(4): e0153706. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0153706.

Gaffin, D. D., Dewar, A., Graham, P., and Philippides, A. (2015) Insect-inspired navigation algorithm for an aerial agent using satellite imagery. PLOS ONE 10(4): e0122077, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0122077.

Vinnedge, J. and Gaffin, D.D. (2015) Determination of in-lab site fidelity and movement patterns of Paruroctonus utahensis. J. Arachnol. 43: 54–58.

Gaffin, D. D. and Barker, T. N. (2014) Comparison of scorpion behavioral responses to UV under sunset and nighttime irradiances. J. Arachnol. 42: 111-118.

Taylor, M.S., Cosper, C., and Gaffin, D. D. (2012) Behavioral evidence of pheromonal signaling in desert grassland scorpions, Paruroctonus utahensis. J. Arachnol. 40: 240-244.

Gaffin, D. D., Bumm, L. A., Taylor, M. S., Popokina, N. V., and Mann, S. (2012) Scorpion fluorescence and reaction to light. Anim. Beh. 83: 429-436.

Knowlton, E. D. and Gaffin, D. D. (2011) Functionally redundant peg sensilla on the scorpion pecten. J. Comp. Physiol. A 197: 895-902.

Knowlton, E. D. and Gaffin, D. D. (2011) Electrophysiology of scorpion peg sensilla. J. Visualized Experiments 50.

Knowlton, E. D. and Gaffin, D. D. (2010) A new tip-recording method to test scorpion pecten chemoresponses to water-soluble stimulants. J. Neurosci. Methods 193: 264-270.

Gaffin, D. D. (2010) Analysis of sensory processing in scorpion peg sensilla. J. Arachnol. 38: 1-8.