Nina Hamacher

Identification of Melanopsin in the Retina of Nassau Grouper (Epinephelus striatus) by In-situ Hybridization

Nassau Groupers inhabit coral reefs throughout the tropical western Atlantic Ocean.  Their spawning is linked to circadian rhythms and seasonal changes in the environment.  Spawning occurs during the full moons of December and January, indicating the use of the moon, and the amount of light it emits, as a trigger for reproductive behavior.  Nina is investigating the presence of Melanopsin in Grouper eyes using In-situ hybridization and examining the potential implications for reproductive behavior.  Nina obtained Nassau grouper eyes in Belize in January 2005, fixed them in formalin, then returned to Maine to set up the In-situ hybridization.

For more information about the project you may email Nina at

Nina finished her project in the spring of 2007 and is currently working as a Biology instructor at UNE.