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Margaret Mc-Fall Ngai, Ph.D., is director of the Pacific Biosciences Research Center and professor in the Kewalo Marine Lab at the University of Hawaii. Her research is focused on animal-bacteria symbioses, and she’s using the symbiosis between the Hawaiian bobtail squid and an illuminous bacterium as a model for this research. Burying itself in the sand during the day, the squid comes out at night and waits for its prey, camouflaging itself within the moon and starlight by utilizing the bacterially-produced light. In this way, the squid avoids casting a shadow which could be identified by its predators.

Dr. Mc-Fall Ngai dives into the details of the research she’s carrying out, offering a wealth of information which includes how and why the Hawaiian bobtail squid is an ideal model for her research, how the bacteria induce gene expression changes in the squid and the nature of how these gene expression changes manifest, how hosts identify symbiotic partners in general, findings of related research, and where her research is headed.

Tune in for all the details and visit for more.

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