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Charles Derby

Professor, Regents    ,

B.S. Biology, University of North Carolina 1976
Ph.D. Biology Boston University 1984


Sensory biology
Chemical Senses


Charles Derby was trained broadly in biology as an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina, and in neuroscience and marine biology as a graduate student at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Florida. The focus of his research centers on sensory biology, especially the chemical senses, with the objective of understanding how nervous systems are organized to allow animals to detect, identify, and respond to natural chemicals. His laboratory uses crustaceans (lobsters, crabs, crayfish), mollusks (sea hares, cephalopods), and fish (sea catfish, wrasses, flounder) as model organisms, using a variety of techniques to answer questions involving different levels of sensory systems, including molecular, immunocytochemical, anatomical, electrophysiologi­cal, and behavioral approaches. The research is interdisciplinary and collaborative, and includes translational research in fisheries management, development of antimicrobials, and formulation of attractants for aquaculture of marine animals. He has received the GSU College of Arts & Sciences Outstanding Faculty Scholarship Award (2000), GSU Outstanding Faculty Achievement Award (1994), and Kenji Nakanishi Research Award for Outstanding Research in Olfaction (1987). He is associate editor for The Biological Bulletin, and has held leadership roles in the Association for Chemoreception Sciences and the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. He has served as associate dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and associate chair of the Department of Biology, and is currently director of graduate studies in the Neuroscience Institute.


Representative Publications

Kozma, M.T., M. Schmidt, H. Ngo-Vu, S. Sparks, A. Senatore, and C.D. Derby. 2018. Chemoreceptor proteins in the Caribbean spiny lobster, Panulirus argus: expression of Ionotropic Receptors, Gustatory Receptors, and TRP channels in two chemosensory organs and brain. PLoS ONE 13(9): e0203935.

Derby, C.D., A. Bharadwaj, and G. Chamberlain. 2018. Development of a sustainable natural chemostimulant for shrimp feed.  AquaFeed 10: 39-43.

Derby, C.D., E.S. Gilbert, and P.C. Tail. 2018. Molecules and mechanisms underlying the antimicrobial activity of escapin, an L-amino acid oxidase from the ink of sea hares. Biol. Bull. 235: 52-61. DOI: 10.1086/699175

Kamio, M., and C.D. Derby. 2017. Finding food: how marine invertebrates use chemical cues to track and select food.  Natural Products Reports 34: 514-528. DOI: 10.1039/c6np00121a

Derby, C.D., M.T. Kozma, A. Senatore, and M. Schmidt. 2016. Molecular mechanisms of reception and perireception in crustacean chemoreception: a comparative review. Chem. Senses 41: 381–398.

Santiago, A.J., M.N.A. Ahmed, S.-L. Wang, K. Damera, B. Wang, P.C. Tai, E.S. Gilbert, and C.D. Derby. 2016. Inhibition and dispersal of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms by combination treatment of escapin intermediate products and hydrogen peroxide. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 60: 5554-5562.

Derby, C.D., F.H. Elsayed, S.A. Williams, C. González, M. Choe, A.S. Bharadwaj, and G.W. Chamberlain. 2016. Krill meal enhances performance of feed pellets through concentration-dependent prolongation of consumption by Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei. Aquaculture 458: 13–20.

Derby, C. and M. Thiel (editors). 2014. Nervous Systems & Control of Behavior. Volume 3, The Natural History of the Crustacea (editor-in-chief, M. Thiel). Oxford University Press, New York. ISBN 978-0-19-979171-2.

Derby, C.D. 2014. Cephalopod ink: production, chemistry, functions and applications. Marine Drugs 12: 2700-2730.

Kamio, M., M. Schmidt, M.W. Germann, J. Kubanek, and C.D. Derby. 2014. The smell of moulting: N-acetylglucosamino-1,5-lactone is a moulting biomarker and candidate courtship signal in the urine of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidusJ. Exp. Biol. 217: 1286-1296

Tadesse, T., C.D. Derby, and M. Schmidt. 2014. Mechanisms underlying odor-induced and spontaneous calcium signals in olfactory receptor neurons of spiny lobsters, Panulirus argus. J. Comp. Physiol. A 200: 53-76.

Derby, C.D., M. Tottempudi, T. Love-Chezem, and L.S. Wolfe. 2013. Ink from longfin inshore squid, Doryteuthis pealeii, as a chemical and visual defense against two predatory fishes, summer flounder, Paralichthys dentatus, and sea catfish, Ariopsis felis. Biol. Bull. 225: 152-160.

Love-Chezem, T., J.F. Aggio, and C.D. Derby. 2013. Defense through sensory inactivation: sea hare ink reduces sensory and motor responses of spiny lobsters to food odors. J. Exp. Biol. 216: 1364-1372

Maxwell, K.E., T.R. Matthews, R.D. Bertelsen, and C.D. Derby. 2013. Age and size structure of Caribbean spiny lobster, Panulirus argus, in a no-take marine reserve in the Florida Keys, USA.  Fisheries Res. 144: 84-90

Derby, C.D. and R.K. Zimmer. 2012. Neuroecology of predator-prey interactions. In: Chemical Ecology in Aquatic Systems. Eds., C. Brönmark and L.-A. Hansson. Oxford Univ. Press, London. pp. 158-171.

Zimmer, R.K. and C.D. Derby. 2011. Neuroecology and the need for broader synthesis. Integr. Comp. Biol. 51: 751-755.