Shireen Alemadi, Brian Wisenden and undergraduate student Andrew Nelson (all Biosciences Department) have had a paper accepted for publication in the international peer-reviewed journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. The title of the paper is “Learned recognition of novel predator odour by convict cichlid embryos.” In this study, eggs of the cichlid fish were simultaneously exposed to the odor of a novel fish species and odor of chemical alarm cues of cichlid larvae. Later, after the eggs had hatched and grown for about a week as larvae, they showed antipredator behavioral responses to the novel odor while control larvae that did not experience the conditioning stimuli showed no response to novel odor.
This is the first demonstration of embryonic learning in a fish. Nelson is currently pursuing graduate studies in the Environmental and Conservation Sciences program at NDSU.