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
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.
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:
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
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.