Lab Phone:(773) 702-2896
S.B. in Biology, Ph.D. in Psychology, M.I.T.
The octopus is rich in evolutionary novelties, from an immense nervous system to prehensile arms to a tremendously sophisticated adaptive coloration system. It is the octopus’s brain and behavior that has attracted the greatest study, but much of this research was done in the 20th century and limited by the techniques of the time. The major focus of the Ragsdale laboratory is to bring the modern advances in neuroscience, molecular cell biology and genetic manipulation to the study of octopus biology. Our first major step has been to promote cephalopod genomics. The Ragsdale laboratory, in collaboration with Rokhsar group at UC-Berkeley, has reported the genome of the Ragsdale lab’s chosen model organism, Octopus bimaculoides. Current research includes comparative cephalopod genomics, octopus arm regeneration, and octopus embryogenesis, which is unlike that of any non-cephalopod mollusc and appears convergent with that of vertebrates.