- Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior
A major focus of my laboratory is to better understand the sensory ecology of other organisms, and how these systems are shaped by evolution. My specialty is olfaction - the sense of smell - and much of my research has focused on exploring how marine birds and fishes use smell in the natural environment. I have worked in areas ranging from olfactory homing in salmon, to olfactory foraging, navigation and individual recognition in birds, and in particular, petrels and albatrosses. Because our world is experiencing rapid, anthropogenic change, our work increasingly interfaces with problems associated with global climate, habitat loss or degradation and by-catch concerns in marine fisheries. Many of the species we study are currently threatened or endangered. In line with this concern, we also conduct research on the proximate and evolutionary factors contributing to phenotypic plasticity, and this work has been carried out primarily with model fish species (various species of desert pupfish and salmon).
Graduate Program Affiliations
- 1983 B.S. in Biology, Stanford University
- 1983 M.S. in Biology, Stanford University
- 1990 Ph.D. in Zoology, University of Washington
- Debose, J.L., Lema, S.C., & Nevitt, G.A. (2008). Dimethylsulfionoproprianate as a foraging cue for reef fishes. Science, 319, 1356.
- Nevitt, G.A., Losekoot, M. & Weimerskirch, H. (2008). Evidence for olfactory search in Wandering albatross Diomedea exulans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(12), 4576-81. (Cover article)
- Nevitt, G.A. (2008). Sensory ecology on the high seas: The odor world of the procellariiform seabirds. Journal of Experimental Biology, 211, 1706-1713.
- De Bose, J. L. & Nevitt, G. A. (2008). The use of odors at different spatial scales: Comparing birds with fish. Journal of Chemical Ecology 34(7), 867-81.
- VanBuskirk, R. & Nevitt, G.A. (2008). The influence of developmental environment on the evolution of olfactory foraging behavior in procellariiform seabirds. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 21(1), 67-76.