Barbara Battelle, Ph.D.

Battelle BarbaraProfessor Emeritus

Whitney Lab website


1972              Ph.D. in Biology, Syracuse University
1972-1974     Research Fellow, Department of Neuropathology, Harvard Medical School
1974-1977     Research Fellow, Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School

Academic Appointments:

1978-1984 Senior Staff Fellow, Laboratory of Vision Research, National Eye Institute,
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
1985-1994 Associate Professor of Neuroscience, The Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, University of Florida, St. Augustine, FL
1994-2015 Professor of Neuroscience, The Whitney Labortory for Marine Bioscience, University of Florida, St. Augustine, FL
2015-present Professor Emeritus, Department of Neuroscience, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Research Focus:

Regulation of opsin co-expression in the retina, with a particular focus on the characterization, localization and regulation of expression of UV opsin and peropsin in the visual system of the horseshoe crab, Limulus.

It may be hard to believe, but on a dark moonless night, our eyes are actually up to 10,000 times more sensitive to light than they are during the day time. This change in sensitivity allows us to make the most of the limited light available at night without being blinded during the day. It is regulated in part by cyclical 24 hour “clocks” that are embedded in the light sensing tissue in our eyes, the retina. These clocks cause biochemical changes in the retina that increase light sensitivity when it is dark and decrease it when it is light. Most people notice as they age their vision changes, usually for the worse and especially at night.

Retinas and photoreceptors change their function during day and night. In order for the full range of day to night fluctuations in visual function to occur, two things are required: rhythmic changes in environmental light and signals from internal circadian clocks. We seek to understand the biochemical mechanisms by which light and clock input, separately and together, regulate retinal and photoreceptor functions. Through these studies we are gaining a more complete understanding of the requirements for normal vision.

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