I am a graduate student at University of Maryland, Baltimore County where I study the ultraviolet visual system of mantis shrimp. I am excited by all manners of science and skepticism. In addition I enjoy hiking, fossil hunting, salt water reef-keeping, and I play rugby for a local club.

I have always loved the ocean. When most children wanted to be astronauts and firemen, I already knew I wanted to be marine biologist. When I was very young, the highlight of beach vacations to Cape Cod and New Hampshire was getting my grey, five gallon bucket and collecting as many animals as I could from the rocks and tidepools. Through middle and high school, my interests remained in the sciences, but shifted to molecular and evolutionary biology. I went to undergrad at the University of Delaware and graduated with a BS in biology, and a history minor. Following that, I was undecided about continuing in academia or getting a job in industry. As a compromise I enrolled in an accelerated, one year masters in Applied Molecular Biology at UMBC. For the research portion of this degree I jumped at the opportunity to work on mantis shrimp. Thus, I inadvertently landed in a fortuitous synthesis my intrinsic love of marine biology and my more recent interest in molecules and evolution. After the MS, I transferred to the PhD program, where I currently reside.

On the hunt for mantis shrimp.

I started Arthropoda at the end of 2009 in order to foster my science writing skills as well as to provide a medium for interaction with like minded science enthusiasts. I feel that the appreciation of science should be a social endeavor, and blogging seems to be a powerful medium to that end. I also hope that Arthropoda can appeal to those who have yet to realize how awesome science is. It would be incredible if I can bring new people into the wonderful world of science.

5 Responses to “About”


  1. 1 Claudia February 7, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    I am really enthusiastic about the mantis shrimp. It was one of many intriguing organisms that got me in love with marine biology!
    Thanks for your time to make this space so interesting!

  2. 2 uof delaware June 6, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Hello, I log on to your blogs like every week. Your story-telling style is awesome, keep up the good work!

  3. 3 health northgate July 22, 2013 at 2:15 pm

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    Excellent work!

  4. 4 Dwight Biscoe March 1, 2014 at 1:07 pm

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  5. 5 Judit August 7, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    I don’t know anything about bugs, only I don’t like them. But this side is great! 🙂 I like the info…..


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I have moved.
Arthropoda can now be found here.

Michael Bok is a graduate student studying the visual system of mantis shrimp.

Flickr Photos

Johanneksenkirkko with a firey sunset.

Frozen Gulf of Finland

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Nudibranch from Lizard Island

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Bringing in the catch

More Photos

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