Richard Zimmer

Professor Emeritus


Recent Courses

EE BIOL 123 - Marine Ecology
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

Hussain, Y.H., J.S. Guasto, R.K. Zimmer, R. Stocker, and J.A. Riffell, "Sperm chemotaxis promotes individual fertilization success in sea urchins", Journal of Experimental Biology, 219 : 1458-1466 (2016) .

Zimmer, R.K., G.A. Ferrier, S.J. Kim, C.S. Kaddis, C.A. Zimmer, and J.A. Loo, "A multifunctional chemical cue drives opposing demographic processes and structures ecological communities", Ecology, 97 : 2232-2239 (2016) .

Ferrier, G.A., S.J. Kim, C.S. Kaddis, J.A. Loo, C.A. Zimmer, and R.K. Zimmer, "MULTIFUNCIN: a multifunctional protein cue induces habitat selection by, and predation on, barnacles", Integrative and Comparative Biology, 56 : 1-13 (2016) .

Crimaldi, J.P., and R.K. Zimmer, "The physics of broadcast spawning in benthic invertebrates", Annual Review of Marine Science, 6 : 141-165 (2014) .

Derby, C.D., and R.K. Zimmer, "Neuroecology and the molluscan connection", In: Neuroecology of Mollusks, W. Winslow and A. DiCosmo(Eds.), London Cambridge University Press 6 : 1-10 (2014) .

Bucciarelli, G.M., A. Li, R.K. Zimmer, L.B. Kats, and D.B. Green, "Quantifying tetrodotoxin levels in the California newt using a non-destructive sampling method", Toxicon, W. Winslow and A. DiCosmo(Eds.), 80 : 87-93 (2014) .

Ferrer, R.P., and R.K. Zimmer, "Molecules of keystone significance: Crucial agents in ecology and resource management", BioScience, W. Winslow and A. DiCosmo(Eds.), 63 : 428-438 (2013) .

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 63 : 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) .