A study into the effect of smart LED lights and temperature on the daily activity patterns of Nudibranchs


Theresa Phillips

A healthy circadian cycle is essential for humans to function correctly; astronauts, as well as many other animals, have circadian cycles. Environmental cues such as the presence or absence of light, in addition to clock genes, regulate circadian patterns of alertness and quiescence. Understanding circadian cycles are crucial to all of NASA's missions in space. This proposal aligns with NASA's Strategic Objective 1.2 Understand Responses of Physical and Biological Systems to Spaceflight to "Conduct a robust program of space-based research to advance technologies that enable exploration, and to pioneer uses of the space environment to benefit life on Earth.". Technology and mission objectives often disrupt crew members from having natural light and dark cycles. On March 16, 2018, the International Space Station started studying if changing from compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) to light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with smart light cycles could elevate mood and improve the productivity of the crew. This study seeks to investigate the impact of smart light cycles on the daily activity patterns of a cold-water species of Nudibranch. I anticipate the results will show that I will be able to determine the circadian behaviors associated with environmental cues, and the responses expressed with CFLs will be expressed differently than with LEDs. This research will chart a course for my success in my STEM-related degree (B.S. in Marine and Environmental Science).


Name: Theresa Phillips, Undergraduate Student

Institution: Alaska Pacific University

Major: Marine & Environmental Science

Mentor: David Scheel, dscheel@alaskapacific.edu

Award: Apprenticeship

Funding Period: 2020