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Biological Sciences

College of Arts & Sciences

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Darrell  Moore 

423-439-8390 /
Brown Hall, Room 424

Research Interest:

My research involves the use of invertebrate (so-called "simple") model systems to study the neural bases of complex behavior. One major part of my research program investigates, from several different perspectives, the honey bee time memory. The time memory, under the control of the circadian clock in the nervous system, enables forager bees to remember both the time of day and the location at which they encounter a profitable food source.

    Using field experiments, my students and I have been testing how this remarkable time memory is acquired, how it is extinguished, and how different environmental factors influence its accuracy and persistence. Most recently, we have expanded our studies of foraging behavior to investigate the signals that forager honey bees use to determine the location of the "dance floor" within the hive – this is where the famous waggle dance communication occurs (where returning foragers recruit their hive mates to productive food sources).

    Another part of my research is in collaboration with Dr. Karl Joplin in our department: we are developing the lowly flesh fly as a model system for the study of aggression. I also collaborate with Dr. Thomas Jones in our department, using nocturnal, diurnal, and arrhythmic spiders to test the adaptive significance of circadian rhythms under natural conditions. Our statistical and mathematical analyses benefit greatly from our ongoing collaborations with Drs. Edith Seier and Michele Joyner in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

Selected Publications:

Wagner AE, Van Nest BN, Hobbs C, Moore D (2013) Persistence, reticence, and the management of multiple time memories by forager honey bees. Journal of Experimental Biology 216: 1131-1141.

Van Nest BN, Moore D (2012) Energetically optimal foraging strategy is emergent property of time-keeping behavior in honey bees. Behavioral Ecology 23: 649-658.

Moore D, Van Nest BN, Seier E (2011) Diminishing returns: the influence of experience and environment on time-memory extinction in honey bee foragers. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 197:641-651.

Naeger N, Van Nest BN, Johnson JN, Boyd SD, Southey BR, Rodriguez-Zas SL, Moore D, Robinson GE (2011) Neurogenomic signatures of spatiotemporal memories in time-trained forager honey bees. Journal of Experimental Biology 214: 979-987.

Moore D (2001) Honey bee circadian clocks: behavioral control from individual workers to whole-colony rhythms. Journal of Insect Physiology 47:843-857.


  • Animal Physiology (BIOL3260)
  • Neurobiology (BIOL4277)
  • Ethology (BIOL4357)
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