[Lab news] Baumann & Nye lab attend 41st Larval Fish Conference

From 11-16 July, Hannes, Chris, Jake (Baumann lab, UConn) and Teresa (Nye lab, Stony Brook) were presenting research from our common NSF project at the 41st Larval Fish Conference, organized by the Early Life History Section of the American Fisheries Society in Austin, TX.

Hannes Baumann

Holding the fort and maintaining experiments at Avery Point were James, Julie, and Elle. Thank you for helping out.


We gave four talks in two sessions:

  • Baumann H., Snyder, J.T., and Murray, C.S. 2017. Quantifying offspring CO2-sensitivity in a fish: a meta-analysis.
  • Snyder, J.T., Murray, C.S., and Baumann H. 2017.
    Potential for maternal effects on offspring CO2 sensitivity in a coastal marine fish
  • Murray, C.S., Snyder, J.T., and Baumann H. 2017. A multi-factorial evaluation of temperature-dependent CO2-effects in a coastal forage fish.
  • Schwemmer, T., Baumann H., and Nye, J. 2017.
    Physiological effects of increased temperature and carbon dioxide on Atlantic silverside early life stages

Here is how Jake rates his first international conference experience:

Austin Texas, July 2017. “Attending the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists was my first visit to Austin Texas and my first large-conference presentation. My presentation was part of the Larval Fish Conference, a sub-section of the larger meeting, and I quickly learned how welcoming the larval fish group of researchers, scientists, professionals, and students were. Having not been to a “destination” conference like this before, I had little expectations, but I had a lot of fun networking, discussing research, and socializing. I think the coolest non-conference related event was seeing the Mexican Free-Tailed bats that live in the Congress Street Bridge, as every night around sunset they leave to go feed. Seeing hundreds of thousands of bats stream out of the bridge was incredible, and something I’d highly recommend. The city of Austin was great, and I spent much of the first day (pre-conference) exploring the city in the scorching heat. Overall the Baumann Lab had an excellent time at the conference, and can’t wait for the next one!”

Jacob Snyder “Austin 2017” photoblog. RedSkiesPhotography

[Conference] Chris and Hannes present at the 40th Larval Fish Conference


The 40th Larval Fish Conference of the American Fisheries Society‘s (AFS) Early life history section (ELHS) was held from 19 – 23 June 2016 at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory in Solomons, MD.

This small conference brought together approximately 150 international scientists to talk about larval fish growth, survival, maternal effects, dispersal, systematics to name just a few. It was held in special honor of Edward Houde, who over his long career has inspired generations of marine scientists.

While Chris was presenting last years data about growth consequences of high CO2 exposure across life stages in our model species, the Atlantic Silverside, Hannes participated in the Early Career workshop and gave a talk about how to approach the writing of a scientific manuscript (PDF).

Thanks to all the colleagues and friends for the great time and conversations. See you next year in Austin (TX)!

All participants of the 2016 Larval Fish Conference in Solomons, MD
Thunderous clouds over Chesapeake Bay, view from CBL
Generations of scientists were inspired by the work of Ed Houde (middle, right: Catriona Clemessen)
Chris standing on the tip of Cove Point (Chesapeake Bay)
Hannes trying to convey to early career scientist at the LFC that writing a scientific manuscript can be approached by breaking up the process into pieces …

[Talk] Chris & Jake present at the Feng Graduate Research Colloquium

On 12 May 2016, the Department of Marine Science hosted it’s 11th Biennial Feng Graduate Research Colloquium, during which graduate students of the department traditionally present findings of their thesis research and/or give a preview of their future plans.

This year, Chris presented the results of last years study on long-term changes in growth distributions in Atlantic silversides exposed to high CO2 conditions, whereas Jake presented a poster outlining his thesis research on long-term environmental and biological data collected by Project Oceanology.

In addition, Jake took his poster ‘on the road’ already and presented it at the 16th Long Island Sound Research Conference (13 May, Bridgeport, CT), while Chris will give his talk again at the 40th Larval Fish Conference in June 2016 (17-23 June, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Solomons MD).

Murray et al Feng LFC talk

Jake poster

[Outreach] A busy year in Mumford Cove

On 13 April, Hannes was invited to the board meeting of the Mumford Cove Association to present a brief update about our groups research activities in and around the cove. It is part of our commitment to public education and outreach to keep property owners informed and maintain good relationships with all parties involved.

The information material below contains graphical summaries of our activities, i.e., measuring water quality parameters continuously with a logging probe and conducting biweekly beach seine surveys for silversides.

To a productive year 2016 in the cove!

Mumford Cove Ass_probe
Mumford Cove Ass_silversides

[Brown bag] Tips & tricks for preparing a good presentation

In preparation for the upcoming Feng Graduate Research Colloquium on Thursday, May 12 (Conn Avery Point, Marine Sciences), Hannes gave a brown bag seminar on how to make an effective presentation.

You can access/download the powerpoint of via this link below or by clicking on the image below.

Brown bag 4-13-16

[Lecture] OA multistressor lecture at Mitchell College

electure cover

On 15 March, Hannes gave a lecture at Mitchell College in New London, talking about the combined effects of ocean warming, acidification, and hypoxia on marine organisms. The entire lecture is publicly available at Limnology & Oceanography e-lectures.

“It was such a pleasure to have you present to the class today; your lecture was excellent – engaging with just the right amount and level of information. I’m glad that you intend to continue to provide outreach/education to the community on this topic.”

Amy Cabaniss, Adjunct Faculty – Marine Ecology, Environmental Studies (STEM)

[Talk] Future Ocean symposium (NYC) and the graphical recording of a presentation

Sustainable Ocean Development Symposium: A Perspective from Former, Current and Future Kiel Marine Scientists | September 28-30, 2015, New York City

H. Baumann gives invited lecture “Combined effects of ocean acidification and its co- stressors on marine organisms” at Columbia University

“I had no idea that ‘Graphical recording’ was a thing.

But Tracey Berglund, an artist currently living in NYC achieved with a whiteboard an a bunch of colored markers, what I wouldn’t have thought possible: a visually entertaining and remarkably accurate depiction of the main points of my talk, which highlighted the multistressor reality of climate change and the need for according experimental approaches.”

Head bowed, Tracey.”

See for yourself.

Graphical recording of H. Baumann's keynote lecture
Graphical recording of H. Baumann’s keynote lecture “Combined effects of ocean acidification and its co- stressors on marine organisms” (Artist: Tracey Berglund,
Baumann - Future Ocean Conference
Hannes Baumann delivers remarks about effects of ocean acidification and it’s co-stressors on marine organisms
Future Oceans Symposium at the Theological Seminary of Columbia University, NYC

[Presentation] H. Baumann talks at the 3rd Ocean Acidification PI Meeting in Woods Hole, MA

“Plastic and evolutionary responses to ocean acidification: navigating the difficult terrain between unfounded pessimism, optimism, and impossible tasks”

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 11 June 2015

Experiments on contemporary marine organisms have demonstrated many negative responses to elevated CO2 levels, i.e., conditions that could occur in the average open ocean within the next 300 years. This has led to the recognition of ocean acidification (OA) as a key anthropogenic stressor and to concerns about detrimental changes to marine ecosystems on which humans depend. While assessing species sensitivities to OA has been the necessary first step, the gradual nature of these shifts further demands that we assess how transgenerational plasticity and evolutionary adaptation to OA will likely affect the overall vulnerability of species and ecosystems. Our predictive ability of these adaptive processes is still in its infancy.
Plastic & evolutionary responses to ocean acidification
The overview talk first looked at currently employed approaches to study adaptation, from relatively well-documented in vitro evolution to OA in single cell organisms to necessarily more inferential techniques (e.g., evolutionary potential, standing genetic variation, molecular techniques) in longer-lived metazoans where multi-generational experiments are largely unfeasible. Secondly, the talk touched on the likely role of transgenerational plasticity in mitigating adverse OA effects over shorter time-scales in some species and whether this could perhaps compromise their ability to genetically adapt. The final objective was to pose a number of largely unresolved questions (e.g., selection differentials? Evolutionary trade-offs?) and highlight a few, perhaps underutilized approaches (e.g., studying spatial gradients as analogies to temporal change) that might improve understanding of evolution and plasticity to OA.

The talk is publicly accessible on Prezi

[Science Panel] 24th Annual Long Island Sound Citizens Summit

“Combined effects of low oxygen and low pH on coastal marine organisms”

Save the Sound 24th Annual Citizen Summit

April 9th 2015. H. Baumann shared insights from experimental work on the combined effects of low oxygen and low pH on coastal fish and shellfish as part of a science panel discussion during the 24th Annual Citizen Summit organized by ‘Save the Sound’
The motto of the 24th Annual Citizen Summit, organized by Save the Sound was ‘Coming back from the brink’. Speakers highlighted the tremendous amount of work towards reducing the eutrophication problem of Long Island Sound, but also the challenges ahead. Baumann highlighted that in addition to traditional concerns of hypoxia as a negative consequence of eutrophication, acidification is a co-occurring stressor. The combination of these two stressors needs to be better understood and tested, because in ecology the effects of two co-occurring stressors may not simply be the sum of each stressor acting alone. Sometimes … 1 + 1 > 2. Other panelists were Dr. Jamie Vaudrey (UConn) and Lisa Suatoni (NRDC) moderated by Dr. Johan (Joop) Varekamp (Wesleyan University and Chairman of the Board, Connecticut Fund for the Environment).

Web: 24th Annual Long Island Sound Citizens Summit

[Campus Talk] H. Baumann talks at Avery Point Global Cafe

“Nets versus Nature: Have we indadvertedly made our fish smaller?”

Avery Point Global Cafe

April 9th 2015. H. Baumann contributed to Avery Point’s Global Cafe Series “The Omnivore at Sea” by talking about the topic of fisheries-induced evolution.
When hearing and talking about sustainable seafood, issues such as overfishing, fishing-related habitat destruction (e.g., trawls tearing through bottom habitat, dynamite fishing) or changes to the architecture of marine ecosystems (‘fishing down the foodweb’) often come to mind. Baumann talked about another potential effect of heavy decade-long commercial fishing, which is less clear but perhaps even more insidious. Nature’s age-old rule of survival in the ocean, i.e., that faster growing fish have better chances of survival, is suddenly reversed when size-selective fishing becomes the dominant agent of mortality. Because in fishing, a faster growing fish will just be susceptible sooner to get caught by the meshes of a fishing trawl. We instinctively know that life on earth has adjusted before to changing selection pressures, and there’s little reason to suspect that this case might be different. Commercial fishing may trigger fisheries-induced evolution, and this may mean smaller, earlier maturing fish and less total biomass for centuries to come. The brief talk will summarize the problem as we know it, explore alternative explanations and look at examples, which show that the issue is also inextricably linked to all the other natural and man-made changes (warming, food web) that affect fish stocks. A cautionary approach that considers evolutionary processes within the framework of sustainable fisheries is surely warranted.