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Peter Moller

Ph.D., Freie Universitat West-Berlin, Germany: Zoology, Chemistry, Physics


Department of Psychology
Hunter College, Room 620N
695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10065
Tel: (212) 772-5197
Fax:(212) 772-5620


Current Areas of Research:

Our research subjects are weakly electric fish (family: Mormyridae) that we obtain through the local aquarium trade and also breed ourselves.

  1. Using a traditional maze set-up we are exploring memory acquisition and consolidation with a focus on behavioral and molecular determinants, multisensory integration (electrosense, vision, lateral line, touch), and development.
  2. Environmental factors affecting locomotor behavior and electric organ discharge activity (e.g. endocrine disruptors, electromagnetic radiation)
  3. The role of vision in weakly electric fish

    Specific Topics:

    • Maze learning in Gnathonemus petersii: molecular bases of memory acquisition and consolidation & the role select electric organ discharge patterns play as spatial rehearsal tools
    • Can electric organ discharge patterns serve in spatial memory transfer?
    • Environmental effects on electric signaling in electric fish
    • Development of spatial learning in Mormyrus rume (we breed this species and will test their locomotor and electric behaviors at various developmental stages.
    • Development of contrast vision in Mormyrus rume

    Selected Publications:


    • Moller, P.  (1995) Electric Fishes: History and behavior. Chapman and Hall, London.
    • Ladich, F., Collin, S.P., Moller, P. and Kapoor, B.G. (eds.) (2006). Communication in Fishes. Science Publishers Inc., Enfield, NH, USA
    • LeCroy, D. and Moller, P. (eds.) (2000). Evolutionary perspectives on human reproductive behavior. Anls. NY Acad. Sci. 907, 1-233.



    • Herfeld, S. and Moller. P. (1998). Effects of 17a-methyltestosterone on sexually dimorphic characters in the weakly discharging electric fish, Brienomyrus niger (Günther, 1866) (Mormyridae): electric organ discharge, ventral body wall indentation, and anal-fin ray bone expansion. Horm. Behav., 34, 303-319.
    • Rojas, R. & Moller, P. (2002). Multisensory contributions to the shelter-seeking behavior of a mormyrid fish, Gnathonemus petersii Günther (Mormyridae, Teleostei): the role of vision, and the passive and active electrosenses. Brain Behav. Evol., 59:211-221.Moller, P., Schugardt, C. and Kirschbaum, F. (2004). Permanent and seasonal expression of sexual dimorphisms in a weakly electric fish, Mormyrus rume proboscirostris Boulenger 1898 (Mormyridae, Teleostei). Environ. Biol. Fishes 70, 175-184.
    • Khait, V., Tahiraj, E., Seemungal, N., Breakstone, S. & Moller, P. (2009). Group cohesion in juvenile weakly electric fish (Mormyridae). J. Fish Biol. 75, 490-502.
    • Moller, P., Schugardt, C., Dowling, B. & Kirschbaum, F. (2009). The expression of sexual dimorphisms in the weakly electric fish Mormyrus rume proboscirostris (Teleostei, Mormyridae) following exposure of larvae to 17α-methyl-dihydrotestosterone. Bull. Fish Biol. 11, 15-20.
    • Walton, A. & Moller, P. (2010). Maze learning and recall in a weakly electric fish, Mormyrus rume proboscirostris, Boulenger 1898 (Mormyridae, Teleostei). Ethology 116, 904-919.
    • Moller, P., Chowdhury, A., Fatova, K., Nuruzzaman, F. & Serrano, P. A. (2010). Spatial learning and PKMz expression in weakly electric fish, Gnathonemus petersii Günther and Mormyrus rume proboscirostris Boulenger (Mormyridae, Teleostei). Soc. Neurosci. (abstract 390.3)
    • Chowdhury, A., Pestruyeva, A., Goldstein, A., Serrano, P. & Moller, P. (2011). Intact memory retrieval increases PKMz expression in weakly electric fish, Gnathonemus petersii Günther Soc. Neurosci. (abstract 837.2).