Month: April 2018

[Lab news] The old swim flume coming back to life

4 April 2018. Today, Adelle Molina and Teresa Schwemmer from the Nye Lab at Stony Brook University visited us with a bunch of respirometry equipment in tow. We were trying to find out how to measure critical swimming speeds and oxygen consumption on individual silverside juveniles. This information, along with other individual traits such as growth, lipid content, and vertebral number will later be used in our new NSF-project examining the genetic underpinnings of local adaptation in this species.
One crucial piece of equipment to do this work is a swimming chamber, also called swim flume. The one we will use is almost 20 years old and has already been used for silverside work more than a decade ago. After a long odyssey through several labs and institutions in the US, we finally got hold of it again, gave it some serious TLC and now hope to resurrect it. Thanks to our pro’s from Stony Brook, the first tests were promising today! Thank you Adelle and Teresa.

Menidia swimming
A ~ 3 cm juvenile silverside swimming against the induced current in the swim tunnel
Swim chamber
An old lady, but still shiny and good to go!
Adelle and Teresa in the Rankin Lab

[New publication] No CO2 effects on silverside starvation

31 March 2018. We’re happy to announce that Marine Biology just published our latest study examining the starvation tolerance of silverside larvae and juveniles at contrasting CO2 conditions. We compiled observations from five separate experiments spanning different years, laboratories, temperatures, life stages, and CO2 levels. Contrary to expectation, we found that starvation rates were largely independent of the CO2 environment in this fish species.

One major set of data was produced by Elle Parks as part of her Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) in summer 2017. Well done, everybody!

Hannes shows Elle Parks (REU 2017), how individual screen with enumerated embryos are suspended into the replicate rearing containers. (Photo: Peter Morenus, UConn)
On 9 June, Elle and Julie strip-spawn Atlantic silverside females into spawning dishes covered in window screen for eggs to attach. (Photo: Peter Morenus, UConn)

M. menidia. (A) Relative cumulative starvation mortalities of early juveniles reared under ambient (grey line, diamonds) vs. high CO2 conditions (black line, circles). Symbols depict individual replicates, lines represent treatment means. (B) Total length of juveniles perishing during the experiment at ambient (grey diamonds) vs. high CO2 conditions (black circles). Lines represent the median(solid lines), 5th and 95th percentiles (dashed lines) of TL estimated with locally weighted, non-parametric density estimators. The initial TL distribution at the beginning of the experiment is depicted on day 0 as the median (white circle), 5th/95th percentiles (whiskers) and the minimum and maximum (white stars).