Michael is finishing up his PhD in Biology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He works on the visual ecology of the mantis shrimp, a specious order of marine crustaceans that boast the fastest strike, worst disposition, and most complex (convoluted) visual system in the world. Specifically, Michael is attempting to unravel the molecular and optical components in the eye that allow mantis shrimp to see five different colors of UV light, as well as the polarization angle of UV light waves. Furthermore, he wants to understand the ecological and behavioral significance of such a sophisticated UV visual system. To accomplish these goals, Michael studies species of mantis shrimp that are collected in the Chesapeake Bay, the Florida Keys, California, Indonesia, and at his favorite place on earth, Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef.
When Michael is not elbows deep it mantis shrimp optics he is an aspiring photographer, enthusiastic hiker, occasional fossil hunter, exceptionally mediocre guitarist, and a worn out rugby player.
You can also find him at his other blogs: Arthropoda, a science and photography blog focusing on the worlds greatest phylum; and Scotch and Chocolate, a skeptical blog that irreverently takes on pseudoscience of all stripes. In addition, you can follow Michael on Twitter and on Google Plus, or email him at mikebok at gmail dot com.