Leigh Marine Laboratory
Prof John Montgomery
Director - Leigh Marine Laboratory
Phone: +64 9 3737599 ext 83611
Fax: +64 9 4226113
Fish have a range of interesting sensory systems in addition to vision. These include the mechanosensory hearing and lateral line systems, and in some fishes, a system to detect weak electric fields. My research has covered a wide range of fishes, from nocturnal sharks and rays, and Antarctic fish which feed in winter darkness, to New Zealand native freshwater fish and coastal reef fishes. We use field and laboratory studies to understanding the natural history and behaviour of these fish and neurophysiology to investigate the underlying neural and sensory basis of these behaviours - an approach known as neuroethology. In a collaborative study with David Bodznick at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory we have been examining the hindbrain processing of electrosensory information, which allows rays to distinguish between their own electric fields and the fields of their prey. We have demonstrated a sophisticated adaptive filter which learns to cancel any input associated with the animal's own movement.
Many interesting and important fish behaviours, such as migration, habitat selection, and feeding, involve sensory biology. We are putting our knowledge of sensory biology to use by contributing to a range of applied problems in freshwater and marine fish biology and fisheries. Of recent note is our work on the use of acoustic clues for pre-settlement reef fish to find their way back to the reef.
- YOPAK KE, LISNEY TJ, DARLINGTON RB, COLLIN SP, MONTGOMERY JC, and FINLAY BL (2010) A conserved pattern of brain scaling from sharks to primates. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci 107: 12946-12951.
- MONTGOMERY, J.C., BAKER, C.F. and CARTON, A.G. The lateral line can mediate rheotaxis in fish. Nature 389: 960-963 (1997).
- COOMBS, S. and MONTGOMERY, J.C. The enigmatic lateral line system. In: Comparative Hearing: Fish and Amphibians. Fay, R.R. and Popper, A.N. (eds.), Springer Handbook of Auditory Research. Springer-Verlag: New York pp. 319-362 (1999).
- MONTGOMERY, J.C. and BODZNICK, D. Signals and noise in the elasmobranch electrosensory system. Journal of Experimental Biology 202: 1349-1355 (1999).
- BODZNICK, D., MONTGOMERY, J.C., CAREY, M.. Adaptive mechanisms in the elasmobranch hindbrain. Journal of Experimental Biology 202: 1357-1364 (1999).
- MONTGOMERY, J.C. and CLEMENTS, K. Disaptation and recovery in the evolution of Antarctic fish. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 15: 267- 271 (2000).
- MONTGOMERY, J.C.,TOLIMIERI, N. and HAINE, O. Active Habitat Selection by Pre-settlement Reef Fishes. Fish and Fisheries 2: 261-277 (2001).
- BODZNICK, D., MONTGOMERY, J.C.and TRICAS, C. Electroreception: Extracting behaviorally important signals from noise. In: Collin, S.P. and Marshall, J. (eds) Sensory processing in aquatic environments. Springer-Verlag, New York, pp. 389-403 (2003)
- MONTGOMERY, J.C., MCDONALD, F., BAKER, C.F. CARTON, A.G. and LING, N. Sensory integration in the hydrodynamic world of rainbow trout. Proceedings: Biological Sciences Volume: 270 Number: 1530 Supplement: 2 195-197 (2003)
- SIMPSON, S.D., MEEKAN, M. MONTGOMERY, J.C. MCCAULEY, R. AND JEFFS, A. (2005) Homeward Sound Science 308: 221.
- MONTGOMERY J.C., JEFFS, A., SIMPSON, S.D., MEEKAN, M. and TINDLE, C. (2006) Sound as an Orientation Cue for the Pelagic Larvae of Reef Fish and Decapod Crustaceans. Advances in Marine Biology 51: 143-196.
- YOPAK, K. E., LISNEY, T. J., COLLIN S. P. and MONTGOMERY, J. C. (2007). Variation in brain organization and cerebellar foliation in chondrichthyans: sharks and holocephalans. Brain Behavior and Evolution 69: 280-300.
- Windsor, S. P., Tan, D. and Montgomery, J. C. (2008) Swimming kinematics and hydrodynamic imaging in the blind Mexican cave fish (Astyanax fasciatus). Journal of Experimental Biology 211: 2950-2959
- Riding, T.A.C., Dennis, T.E., Stewart, C.L., Walker, M.M., and Montgomery, J.C. (2009) Tracking fish using ‘buoy-based’ GPS telemetry. Marine Ecology Progress Series 377: 255-262.