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Peter Moller

Ph.D., Free University Berlin, Zoology, Chemistry, Physics

Contact Information:
Dr. Peter Moller
Department of Psychology
Hunter College, Room 620N
695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
Tel: (212) 772-5197
Fax:(212) 772-5620

Current Areas of Research:
Our research subjects are African weakly electric fish of the family Mormyridae that we breed in our laboratory. My research interest in these animals is twofold: (1) Multisensory integration, i.e. the interplay of their electrosenses, sight, and lateral line, in orientation, navigation, and communication; and (2) the developmental plasticity of structures and behaviors that affect their courtship displays.

Specific Topics:

Maze learning in Mormyrus rume: the role of electrosenses, sight, and lateral line.
Spatial memory and information transfer in Mormyridae.
Environmental effects on social signaling in mormyrid fish.
Visual performance and ecological adaptations in mormyrid fish: a comparative study.
Habituation learning in Malapterurus electricus.

Effects of gonadal steroids on the expression of courtship display structures and behavior in African mormyrid fish.
Organizational and activational roles of androgens in the expression of sexually dimorphic structures and behavior in weakly electric fish.
Electric fish as a model to investigate the effects on endocrine disruptors.

Selected Publications:


Moller, P. (1995) Electric Fishes: History and behavior. Chapman and Hall, London. 

LeCroy, D. and Moller, P. (eds.) (2000). Evolutionary perspectives on human reproductive behavior. Anls. NY Acad. Sci. 907, 1-233.

Ladich, F., Collin, S.P., Moller, P. and Kapoor, B.G. (eds.) (2006). Communication in Fishes. Science Publishers Inc., Enfield, NH, USA


Selected Articles:

Herfeld, S. and Moller. P. (1998). Effects of 17α-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.

Görner, P., and Moller, P. (2001). Distance estimation in the funnel web spider, Agelena labyrinthica Cl. Proc. Roy. Inst. Navigation, 2002, P12, 1-9.

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. (2002). Multimodal sensory integration in weakly electric fish: a behavioral account. J. Physiol. (Paris). 96/5-6: 547-556.

Terleph, T. and Moller, P. (2003). Effects of social interaction on the electric organ discharge in a mormyrid fish, Gnathonemus petersii Günther 1862 (Mormyridae, Teleostei). J. Exp. Biol. 206, 2355-2362.

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-methyldi hydro testosterone. 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 PKMζ expression in weakly electric fish, Gnathonemus petersii Günther and Mormyrus rume proboscirostris Boulenger (Mormyridae, Teleostei). Soc. Neurosci. (abstract 390.3)

Alliger, A. A. & Moller, P. (2011). The effects of environmental control on cognition in rats (Rattus norvegicus). JAAWS (in press).

Introductory Psychology (undergraduate)
Animal Behavior/Ethology (undergraduate)
Seminar in Evolutionary Psychology (graduate)
Seminar in Animal Orientation and Communication (graduate)
Field Course in Animal Behavior (graduate/undergraduate)
Animal Behavior (graduate)
Legal and Ethical Issues in Psychology (graduate)

Graduate Students:

Tara Anne McCloskey-Chillemi
Paul Curtin
Gina Savastano
Dylan Lombardo

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