Dr. Lori Schweikert - The Science Of Fish Vision




“If you have interacted with the hogfish you might know that they have this incredible ability to change color.”

Podcast Synopsis

Dr. Lori Schweikert is a researcher with degrees in Marine Biology from Florida who not only researches fish but is an avid fisherman. Lori gets a lot of inspiration from her experiences on the water and brings that stuff back to the lab. She has been able to apply a lot of her research to her fishing. I found out conversation super interesting about the Hogfish and mostly about the Tarpon. I had so many questions about what the fish could see and how that would help my fishing.

Check out How The Color Changing Hogfish Can See With Its Skin

I had the chance to talk to Lori about her research on color changing Hogfish and how they see with their skin, called “dermal photoreception,” as she told me. Lori told me that animals like this won’t be able to see from their skin like they do with their eyes, but their skin may be sensing light and wavelength changes.

Initially Lori was looking for something similar to cuttlefish and octopuses where the same pathway that detects light in the eyes is also used to sense light in the skin. But when Lori removed some of the skin from the retina of a hogfish and analyzed the RNA she found that there was no similarity in light detection in the hogfish’s eyes. Instead she found that the skin used a unique pathway to sense light around it. With this information there is more she needs to study, for example it is unclear how the hogfish uses its skin vision to monitor its surroundings and change color. But I am excited to see what she learns and maybe will have her back on the podcast when she has found out even more about the hogfish.

Check out the podcast for some awesome information on Tarpon as well, we actually talked more about tarpon than hogfish!

You can follow Lori on twitter @LoriSchweikert

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See you on the water,

-Tom Rowland