The project for my Master’s is focusing on behavioral ecology of the cubozoan Copula sivickisi. Cubozoans are known for their complex life histories and behaviors, as well as rapid growth rates. Some Cnidaria have reproductive cycles that relate to lunar periods, however little is still known for the Cubozoa. Furthermore, C. sivickisi are known to be more active at night, though there is lacking evidence for how mate detection occurs in these conditions.
The aim of my project is to test the following predictions: (i) C. sivickisi have a semilunar cycle of metamorphosis to medusa from benthic polyps (ii) C. sivickisi use chemotaxis to detect mates at night.