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Lauren Simonitis

Lauren is an aquatic sensory biologist interested in how animals use their sensory systems to understand their environment and impact their role in predator prey relationships. From the prey perspective, she focuses on how animals use ink as a chemically mediated antipredator defense. Lauren also studies the olfactory system of a common ocean predator- sharks- by describing the general morphology, distribution of sensory structures, and fluid dynamics of different Chondrichtyhan (cartilaginous fish) nasal morphologies. Lauren employs a suite of biovisualization techniques including histology, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and computed tomography (CT) scanning to visualize the noses of sharks and their relatives. Lauren received a dual B.S. in Marine Science and Biology from the University of Miami and a Ph.D. in Marine Biology from Texas A&M University. Lauren is currently a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Biology at both Florida Atlantic University and the University of Washington.

Lauren is going to teach us all about different marine animals that use ink as defense mechanism on Oct 17! Register for her dive field project on Oct 18 here.

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