Location: Bowdoin / trivers


Trevor Rivers

Doherty Marine Postdoctoral Scholar

Fall 2012

  • Senses in the Ocean (BIO 057)
  • Advanced Independent Study and Honors in Biology (BIO 402)

Trevor Rivers


  • Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, 2007
  • B.S. major, marine biology, minor in chemistry. Magna Cum Laude, Western Washington University, 2000

Research Interests

I am primarily interested in visual-based behavior in marine systems, with a particular focus on bioluminescence. The question I find most fascinating is 'why do animals luminesce?' Although much is known about the physiology and chemistry of luminescence in many systems, much less is known about how it is used in nature. I use low-light videography, night vision, and other technologies to explore the ways organisms utilize light for various purposes such as courtship and predation defense. I, along with an honors student, am currently working on describing how scale worm luminescence affects survivorship when being attacked by predators. You can see a recent article at the link:


I am also interested in the role of anthropogenic light (light pollution) on the behavior of marine animals, from the individual to the community level. I am concurrently working on a project, starting in the spring, where I will be studying the effects of light pollution on fouling community structure.

Rivers, T.J. and J.G. Morin. (In Press). The relative cost of using luminescence for sex and defense: light budgets in cypridinid ostracods. Journal of Experimental Biology

Rivers, T.J. and J.G. Morin. 2009. Plasticity of male mating behaviour in a marine bioluminescent ostracods in both time and space. Animal Behaviour.78(3):723-734

McGraw, K.J., Massaro, M., Rivers, T.J., and T. Mattern. 2009. Annual, sexual, size- and condition-related variation in the colour and fluorescent pigment content of yellow crest feathers in Snares Penguins (Eudyptes robustus). Emu109: 93-99

Gerrish, G.A., Morin, J.G., Rivers, T.J., and Z. Patrawala. 2009. Darkness as an Ecological resource: the role of light in partitioning the nocturnal niche.Oecologia, 160:525–536

Rivers, T.J. and J.G. Morin. 2008. Complex sexual courtship displays by luminescent male marine ostracods. Journal of Experimental Biology. 211: 2252-2262

Haddock, S.H.D, T.J. Rivers, and B.H. Robison. 2001. Can coelenterates make coelentarzine? Dietary requirement for luciferin in cnidarian bioluminescence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 98: 11148-11151

Manuscripts in Preparation

Rivers, T.J. and J.G. Morin. Female tracking of complex intermittent luminescent mating displays in a marine Caribbean ostracod.

Rivers, T.J, Sirota, M.G., Guttentag, A.I., Ogorodnikov, D, and I.N. Beloozerova. Where do cats look when they are walking? Patterns of gaze behaviors during locomotion.

Rivers, T.J, Sirota, M.G., and I.N. Beloozerova. Correlation between gaze behavior and step pattern.

  • 2008-2011   Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Beloozerova Motor Systems Lab at the Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, AZ,
  • 2007 (Fall)   Instructor, General Biology for majors (BIO 181), Mesa Community College
  • 2007 (Summer)   Instructor, Oceanography Gulf of Maine (OGOM) course shore component, Shoals Marine Lab
  • 2006  Postdoctoral Researcher, McGraw Lab, Arizona State University