#SciFund Challenge: Doctor Zen and the Amazon Crayfish

#SciFund is a month-and-a-half long initiative to raise funds for a variety of scientific research projects. Project leaders post a project description and an appeal for funds, and members of the public are invited to make small donations to projects that they deem worthy. Donations come with rewards such as access to project logs, images from fieldwork, your name in the acknowledgements of publications, among other possibilities. Many of these projects are marine or conservation themed. Over the next week, we’ll highlight some of our favorites. Please take a look at these projects and, should you so desire, send some financial support their way. If you do make a donation, let them know how you found out about their project and leave a comment (anonymous if you’d like) on this post letting us know.

Doctor Zen and the Amazon Crayfish

Doctor Zen is a biologist who studies brains and behavior using crustaceans. He is studying the invasive marbled crayfish, bizarre species of crayfish that are all female and reproduce asexually. There are no known wild populations, marbled crayfish are only known from the pet trade and invasive populations. Funding for this project will be used to collect slough crayfish, a closely related species, to be used to study the origins of asexual reproduction.


You can listen to a fascinating interview with Doctor Zen discussing some of his other research projects – Zen, Zombies, and, Ziplessness. Doctor Zen is also a veteran science blogger and writes at NeuroDojo, Marmorkrebs, and the incredibly valuable Better Posters blog. Head on over to Doctor Zen’s project page and take a look.