Skip Navigation

Douglas D. Gaffin

Skip Side Navigation

Douglas D. Gaffin

David Ross Boyd Professor of Biology

Ph.D., Oregon State University
B.S., University of California, Berkeley
Member, Oklahoma Center for Neuroscience
405-325-5149 (Phone)
405-325-6202 (Fax)
RH 413 / RH 100

web page

curriculum vitae


I am interested in how animals detect, process, and use sensory information to move about their environment. I focus on sand scorpions because of their clean native habitat, slow walking behavior, fluorescent cuticle, and accessibility to electrophysiological investigation. One of our main projects is exploring the hypothesis that scorpions use their ornate pectinal organs to navigate their habitat via chemo-textural familiarity.

Representative Publications

(* denotes undergraduate at time of manuscript production)

  • *Musaelian A, Gaffin DD (2020) High-throughput simulations indicate feasibility of navigation by familiarity with a local sensor such as scorpion pectines. bioRxiv preprint doi:
  • Gaffin DD, Curry CM (2020) Arachnid navigation – a review of classic and emerging models. Invited review article for Journal of Arachnology 48:1–25.
  • *Hughes KL, Gaffin DD (2019) Investigating sensory processing in the pectines of the striped bark scorpion. Invertebrate Neuroscience 19:9.
  • Knowlton ED, Gaffin DD (2019) Female wolf spider (Schizocosa avida) vibration receptor responses to male courtship. Southwestern Entomologist 44(1):213–228.
  • *Kelley S, *Yut K, *Kulkarni R, Gaffin DD (2019) Avoidance of rosemary oil by scorpions. Journal of Arachnology 47(1):159–161.
  • *Rivera Roldan NM, Gaffin DD (2018) New, sensitive behavioral assay shows scorpions are attracted to multiple wavelengths of light. Journal of Arachnology 46(3):432–437.
  • *Ashford K, *Blankenship R, *Carpenter W, *Wheeler I, Gaffin DD (2018) Response of the eastern grassland scorpion, Paruroctonus utahensis, to air movement from a moth analog. Journal of Arachnology 46(2):226–230. link
  • Gaffin DD, Brayfield BP (2017) Exploring the chemo-textural familiarity hypothesis for scorpion navigation. Journal of Arachnology 45(3):265–270. link
  • Gaffin DD, Brayfield BP (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. link
  • Gaffin DD, Dewar A, Graham P, 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. link
  • Gaffin DD, Bumm LA, Taylor MS, *Popokina NV, Mann S (2012) Scorpion fluorescence and reaction to light. Animal Behaviour 83:429−436. link
  • Taylor MS, *Cosper C, Gaffin DD (2012) Behavioral evidence of pheromonal signaling in desert grassland scorpions, Paruroctonus utahensisJournal of Arachnology 40:240–244. pdf
  • *Knowlton ED, Gaffin DD (2011) Functionally redundant peg sensilla on the scorpion pecten. Journal of Comparative Physiology A  197:895–902. link