Professional Information

Research Interests

I am a researcher in the Lund Vision Group at Lund University in Sweden. I am interested in the unusual visual systems of a variety of marine invertebrates ranging from the rudimentary compound ocelli of fan worms to the spectacularly sophisticated eyes of mantis shrimp.

I completed my PhD in 2013 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County under the supervision of Professor Thomas Cronin. Following that I took a postdoctoral fellowship with Professor Dan-Eric Nilsson at Lund University in Sweden, and then an independent BBSRC Future Leaders Fellowship in the Ecology of Vision Group at the University of Bristol in the UK.

My current work on fan worms aims to unravel the developmental, neurological and behavioral factors that drove the evolution of these simple eyes and perhaps also influenced the origins of nature’s very first visual systems.

CV Full CV: PDF (Updated May, 2018) Scholar Google Scholar Research Gate Research Gate

Cover Photos



Porter et al., (2020) Exceptional diversity of opsin expression patterns in Neogonodactylus oerstedii (Stomatopoda) retinas.
Porter ML, H Atawa, MJ Bok, and TW Cronin. 2020.
PNAS, 117,

Franklin et al., (2020) Differences in signal contrast and camouflage among different colour variations of a stomatopod crustacean, Neogonodactylus oerstedii.
Franklin AM, JN Marshall, AD Feinstein, MJ Bok, AD Byrd, and SM Lewis. 2020.
Scientific Reports 10, 1236(2020).


Bok et al., (2019) Photoresponses in the radiolar eyes of the fan worm, Acromegalomma vesiculosum (Montagu)
Bok, MJ, D-E Nilsson & AL Garm, 2019
The Journal of Experimental Biology, 222, jeb212779.


Helm et al., (2018) Developmental studies provide new insights into the evolution of sense organs in Sabellariidae (Annelida).
Helm, C, MJ Bok, P Hutchings, E Kupriyanova & M Capa, 2018
BMC Evolutionary Biology, 18,149.

Bok et al., (2018) Behavioural evidence for polychromatic ultraviolet sensitivity in mantis shrimp.
Bok, MJ, NW Roberts & TW Cronin. 2018.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 285, 20181384.

Kirwan et al., (2018) The sea urchin Diadema africanum uses low resolution vision to find shelter and deter enemies.
Kirwan, JD, MJ Bok, J Smolka, JJ Foster, JC Hernández, D-E Nilsson. 2018.
Journal of Experimental Biology, doi: 10.1242/jeb.176271.

Valdez-Lopez et al., (2018) Sequence, Structure, and Expression of Opsins in the Monochromatic Stomatopod Squilla empusa.
Valdez, J, MW Donohue, MJ Bok, J Wolf, TW Cronin, and ML Porter. 2018.
Integrative and Comparative Biology,


Bok et al., (2017) Radiolar Eyes of Serpulid Worms (Annelida, Serpulidae): Structures, Function, and Phototransduction.
Bok, MJ, ML Porter, HA ten Hove, R Smith & D-E. Nilsson. 2017.
The Biological Bulletin, 233, 39-57.

Bok & Nilsson (2017) Low-Resolution Vision—at the Hub of Eye Evolution.
D-E Nilsson & MJ Bok. 2017.
Integrative and Comparative Biology, 57: 1066-1070.

Bok, Porter & Nilsson (2017) Crustacean Larvae—Vision in the Plankton.
Cronin,TW, MJ Bok, & C Lin. 2017.
Integrative and Comparative Biology, 57: 1139-1150.

Bok, Porter & Nilsson (2017) Phototransduction in fan worm radiolar eyes.
Bok, MJ, ML Porter & D-E Nilsson. 2017.
Current Biology, 27: R698-R699.


Bok & Nilsson (2016) Fan worm eyes.
Bok, MJ & D-E Nilsson. 2016.
Current Biology, 26: R907-R908.

Cronin & Bok (2016) Photoreception and vision in the ultraviolet.
Cronin, TW & MJ Bok. 2016.
The Journal of Experimental Biology, 219: 2790-2801.

Bok et al. (2016) Here, There and Everywhere: The Radiolar Eyes of Fan Worms (Annelida, Sabellidae).
Bok, MJ, M Capa & D-E Nilsson. 2016.
Integrative and Comparative Biology, 56(5): 10.1093/icb/icw089.


Bok et al. (2015) Ultraviolet filters in stomatopod crustaceans: diversity, ecology, and evolution.
Bok, MJ, ML Porter & TW Cronin. 2015.
Journal of Experimental Biology, 218(13): 122036.


Bok et al. (2014) Biological Sunscreens Tune Polychromatic Ultraviolet Vision in Mantis Shrimp.
Bok, MJ, ML Porter, AR Place and TW Cronin. 2014.
Current Biology, 24: 1636-1642.

Cronin et al. (2014) Filtering and Polychromatic Vision in Mantis Shrimps: Themes in Visible and Ultraviolet Vision.
Cronin, TW, MJ Bok, JN Marshall, and RL Caldwell. 2014.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B Biology, 369: 20130032.


Bok et al. (2013) Sense organs and sensory systems.
Bok, MJ, TW Cronin, and KS Mead Vetter. 2013.
In: Subclass Hoplocarida (Calman, 1904): order Stomatopoda (Latrielle, 1817). Treatise on Zoology – Anatomy, Taxonomy, Biology: The Crustacea.
JC von Vaupel Klein, M Charmantier-Daures and FR Schram. Eds. Vol. 4A: 179-355. Brill, Leiden.


Porter et al. (2012) Shedding New Light on Opsin Evolution.
Porter, ML, J Blasic, MJ Bok, EG Cameron, T Pringle, TW Cronin, and PR Robinson. 2012.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 279: 3-14.


Cronin et al. (2010) The molecular genetics and evolution of colour and polarization vision in stomatopod crustaceans.
Cronin, TW, ML Porter, MJ Bok, JB Wolf, and PR Robinson. 2010.
Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 30(5): 460–469.


Porter er al. (2009) Molecular diversity of visual pigments in Stomatopoda (Crustacea).
Porter, ML, MJ Bok, PR Robinson, and TW Cronin. 2009.
Vision Neuroscience, 26(3): 255-65.

Video Abstract for my recent paper on mantis shrimp ultraviolet vision:

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