Ceph Ph.D. programs


Aug 17, 2005
Walla Walla University
Hello all,
My name is Kirt Onthank and I have posted here a few times. I am working on my masters degree at Walla Walla College working on the metabolism and energy budget of Enteroctopus dofleini. I am starting to poke around at Ph.D. programs to continue working with Cephalopods, so I thought I would ask this community for their input. Do any of you know of some good Ph.D. programs where one could get into a lab working with Cephs? Northeastern Pacific would be preferable, working on ecological physiology of octopuses, but really i would love the opportunity to work with any cephs in almost any capacity. (squid has really caught my fancy lately, especially Dosidicus...) Anyhow, let me know if you ahve any thoughts or suggestions.
New Zealand too far?

Working with live animals is a major gamble, and a huge undertaking (because you have to keep them alive for the duration of your research, which requires a massive investment of time, energy and finances, even at the doctoral level).

We're big on systematics, trophic ecology, and reproductive biology down here, and there is so much to do!
Trophic ecology sounds like it would be right up my alley. My current research was stemed from an undergraduate project looking at the dietary preferences of E. dofleini in the San Juans. How many Ph.D. candidates do you currently have working on Cephs down there?
Hmmmm. PhD's, just Kat; MAppSc, Felipe and Jason; BAppSc(Hons) Emma, although Emma and Felipe are looking at ceph composition in the diets of whales, pygmy sperm and pilot, and sperm respectively; Jason is doing squid culture.

Next year, semester 1, it looks like I have a chap from Germany coming over to study cephs for his Masters; and another lass from the Philippines doing her PhD on sponge systematics; the current folk can be found here; please understand the site is being updated all of the time, and editing of text (typos), missing text and pictures of all are about to go online (and other pages updated)

So then I must ask, What does New Zealand have as far as shallow water cephs? particularly octopus?? And what kind of work has been done recently in that area as far as trophic ecology in those organism (i.e. is it a pretty combed over area already)?

Kirt did you ever get your work published? im doing a metabolism and dietary preferance study projecting my results on relative wreight and learning capacity of invertabrates... my lit review is sorely lacking,although my research isnt, because of how selective I have to be. your study may be able to help me alot. (even though my project is only an intel,westinghouse)do you at least have an abstract somewhere??
Taollan;72972 said:

So then I must ask, What does New Zealand have as far as shallow water cephs? particularly octopus?? And what kind of work has been done recently in that area as far as trophic ecology in those organism (i.e. is it a pretty combed over area already)?


Heavens; I have only just noticed this post, after the thread was resurrected. Sorry Kirt!!

What have we to offer? Well, there are several coastal species that are as yet not 'described' from New Zealand waters, particularly off northeastern New Zealand. Life history, systematics, culture ... all could be undertaken at a postgraduate level (although I will not take on any 'culture/aquaculture' work at a Masters level any longer; let's just say I've been burnt). Nobody has looked at octopus fisheries bycatch!!

I would prefer someone tell me what they wanted to do, rather than identify a research project; the interest has to be there at the beginning for the project to be completed (to the best of someone's abilities).

There is plenty to be done, and plenty to learn!
Wow, a whole glut of response in a single day. I haven't been able to get back here for a while since I have been working on the Columbia Complex Fire for the past couple of days working about 15 hours a day, but here I am now.
Ottoismyocto: I haven't gotten anything published so far, I am just starting on my master's. I do have a small report from some undergrad research I did on dietary preference in E. dofleini in the San Juans. I will be happy to send you that if it would help, and keep you abreast of anything I produce in the future. I also have amassed quite the little library of literature in this area, and I would be happy to share some of it.
Chrissy, thank you very much for the point in the right direction. I guess I could have simply asked you at the AMS meeting, but that would have been too easy.
Steve, sounds like alot of interesting basic research has yet to be done down there. I don't think you would have to worry too much about me simply wanting you to provide me with a research project, I tend to be somewhat of a maverick in that regard as it is. I will have to keep in touch with you.

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