Richard                        Zimmer

Richard Zimmer


phone:  (310) 206-4981
fax:  (310) 206-3987
office:  Botany 212A
lab:  Botany second floor

Recent Courses

EE BIOL 137 - Chemical Communication
EE BIOL 194B - Research Group or Internship Seminars: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
EE BIOL 200C - Animal Behavior

Research Interests

An understanding of chemical signals in the environment can lead to important insights about the ecology of aquatic organisms. Recent advances in technology provide outstanding opportunities for new discoveries, thus allowing quantification of the associations between hydrodynamic, chemical, and biological factors. Our past work on chemically-mediated interactions between organisms emphasized (1)habitat colonization, (2) predation, (3) motility and chemotaxis in microbes, and (4) chemical signal production and transmission. Current priorities include these same topics, as well as expanding work on predation to remote deep sea habitats while beginning new projects on parasite/host interactions, fertilization and sperm/egg recognition. By rigorously determining the effects of chemical signals on organisms under environmentally realistic conditions, and by integrating these findings within a larger ecological and evolutionary framework, we hope to contribute new theory and information on a wide range of topics in the aquatic sciences. Such broad integrations are intellectually and technically challenging, and our future research will include interdisciplinary investigations on numerous spatial and temporal scales.

Selected Publications

Derby, C.D., and R.K. Zimmer, "Neuroecology of predator-prey interactions", Chemical Ecology in Aquatic Systems, C. Bronmark and L.-A. Hansson(Eds.), Oxford, U.K Oxford University Press 158-171 (2012) .

Himes, J.E., and R.K. Zimmer, "Sperm chemotaxis as revealed with live and synthetic eggs", Biological Bulletin, C. Bronmark and L.-A. Hansson(Eds.), 220 : 1-5 (2011) .

Zimmer, R.K., and C.D. Derby, "Neuroecology and the need for broader synthesis", Integrative and Comparative Biology, C. Bronmark and L.-A. Hansson(Eds.), 51 : 787-791 (2011) .

Veitinger, T., J.A. Riffell, s. Veitinger, J.M. Nascimento, A. Triller, C. Chandsawangbhuwana, K. Schwane, A. Geerts, F. Wunder, M.W. Berns, E.M. Neuhaus, R.K. Zimmer, M. Spehr, and H. Hatt, "Chemosensory Ca2+ dynamics correlate with diverse behavioral phenotypes in human sperm", Journal of Biological Chemistry, C. Bronmark and L.-A. Hansson(Eds.), 286 : 17311-17325 (2011) .

Ferrer, R.P., and R.K. Zimmer, "Chemical neuroecology and community dynamics", Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, C. Bronmark and L.-A. Hansson(Eds.), 1138 : 450-455 (2009) .

Krug, P.J., J.A. Riffell, and R.K. Zimmer, "Endogenous signaling pathways and chemical communication between sperm and egg", Journal of Experimental Biology, C. Bronmark and L.-A. Hansson(Eds.), 212 : 1092-1100 (2009) .

Zimmer, R.K. and C.D. Derby, "Introduction to The Biological Bulletin virtual symposium on "The Neuroecology of Chemical Defense", Biological Bulletin, C. Bronmark and L.-A. Hansson(Eds.), 213 : 204-206 (2007) .

Zimmer, R.K., "Chemosensation", Encylopedia of Rocky Shores, M.W. Denny and S.D. Gaines(Eds.), University of California Press 213 : 123-127 (2007) .

Zimmer, R.K. and R.P. Ferrer, "Neuroecology, chemical defense and the keystone species concept", Biological Bulletin, M.W. Denny and S.D. Gaines(Eds.), 213 : 207-224 (2007) .

Riffell, J.A. and R.K. Zimmer, "Sex and flow: the consequences of fluid shear for sperm-egg interactions", Journal of Experimental Biology, M.W. Denny and S.D. Gaines(Eds.), 210 : 3644-3660 (2007) .