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Charles Derby

Professor, Regents    Director of Graduate Studies    ,

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.


Represenative Publications

Derby, C.D. and M. Thiel (editors). 2014. Crustacean Nervous Systems and Their Control of Behavior. Volume 3 of The Natural History of Crustaceans (ten-volume series, editor-in-chief, M. Thiel). Oxford Univ. Press, New York.

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 sapidus. J. 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 Research 144: 84-90.

Ko, K.-C., P.C. Tai, and C.D. Derby. 2012. Escapin, a bactericidal agent in ink secretion of the sea hare Aplysia californica, acts through irreversible DNA condensation in E. coli. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 56: 1725-1734.

Kicklighter, C.E., M. Kamio, L. Nguyen, M.W. Germann, and C.D. Derby. 2011. Mycosporine-like amino acids are multifunctional molecules in sea hares and their marine community. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 108: 11494-11499.

Schmidt, M. and C.D. Derby. 2011. Cytoarchitecture and ultrastructure of neural stem cell niches and neurogenic complexes maintaining adult neurogenesis in the olfactory midbrain of spiny lobsters, Panulirus argus. J. Comp. Neurol. 519: 2283-2319.

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

Find Charles Derby’s publications on PubMed