Welcome to the Aquatic Chemical Ecology Center at Georgia Tech
As humans we are poorly equipped to understand the omnipresent and critical importance of chemical signaling in affecting biotic interactions in the ocean and elsewhere. Most organisms lack eyes and ears and so decide whether to mate with, eat, escape from, or defend against the organism next to them based on chemical cues. These chemical cues constitute the language in which many of the “instructions” for biotic interactions are written.
At Georgia Tech we have organized a diverse group of ecologists, chemists, sensory biologists, engineers, and quantitative modelers, to focus on translating this language from chemistry into ecology and to use this deeper understanding as a window into (i) the processes that have selected for critical sensory abilities, (ii) understanding how these chemical cues change organism behavior, (iii) how these behaviors affect populations, (iv) how a mechanistic-level understanding of these behavioral cues can be scaled-up to better understand the structure and function of communities and ecosystems, and (v) how this understanding can be used to better inform the wise conservation and restoration of marine and aquatic systems.