15 December 2017. The whole Baumann lab joins in congratulating Jake on his successful graduation with his Master’s degree from UConn! Jake embodied the spirit of a great student and team member, one who did not only seek to get something from the place he spent two years of his life but also one who left a great deal for us to remember. A wizard behind the camera, Jake has continuously enriched our lab with pictures that truly stand out and for which we will always be grateful. Jake helped in every aspect of the lab, but was particularly active in maintaing our monitoring efforts in Mumford Cove. For that, too, we are very grateful.
For his Master’s thesis, Jake painstakingly took it upon himself to retrieve and digitize the 40+ year time series of environmental observations from Project Oceanology, an ocean literacy organization that has been taking middle and high school students out to sea for decades. For the first time, his work allowed a quantitative evaluation of these data and a glimpse into the decadal changes in abiotic and biotic conditions in nearshore waters of Eastern Long Island Sound.
During his time at the Baumann lab, Jake also conducted an experiment on potential maternal effects and their influence on offspring CO2 sensitivity, which was recently published in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Snyder, J.T.*, Murray, C.S.*, and Baumann, H. (2018)
28 November 2017. The Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology just published the latest study by our group looking at differences in the CO2 sensitivity of Atlantic silverside offspring stemming from different mothers. Congratulations to Jacob Snyder for his first peer-reviewed publication.
Among the highlights of the study:
Offspring produced by different females varied in their sensitivity to high CO2 conditions.
Specific fatty acids in eggs were correlated to the log-transformed CO2 response ratio of embryo survival and hatch length.
Maternal provisioning might be an additional determinant of CO2 sensitivity in fish early life stages.
On 5-9 November 2017, the Baumann lab attended the 24th Biennial Conference of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Foundation (CERF) in Providence, RI. The conference is a unique blend of academic and conservation science and comprises an ideal venue for students to present their thesis research to a broad national and international audience. Best of all this year: the conference logo featured a beautiful piece of art depicting an underwater scene with our most beloved, famous fish, the Atlantic silverside. Big shout out to Ashley van Etten and her inspiring artwork!
Together with Steve Litvin (Monterey Bay Aquarium) Hannes convened a theme session titled “Physiological ecology in the Anthropocene: linking the laboratory and field” and talked about our recently published paper on pH and oxygen fluctuations in nearshore coastal environments. Jake presented his Master thesis research on the newly digitized long-term time series of Project Oceanology, and Julie talked about the first aspect of her ongoing research on silverside otoliths and inferred patterns of growth and temperature-dependent sex determination. Well done, all!
Baumann H. and Smith, E.M. 2017. Quantifying the covariance of pH and oxygen conditions across the diversity of US nearshore habitats.
Pringle, J.W. and Baumann H. 2017. Sex-specific growth and mortality patterns in juvenile Atlantic silversides (Menidia menidia) from Connecticut waters.
DeMayo, J.A., Park, G., Norton, L., Huffman, W., Finiguerra, M., Baumann H., and Dam, H.G. 2017. Combined effects of warming and acidification on life-history traits of the calanoid copepod Acartia tonsa.
Snyder, J.T. and Baumann H. 2017. A newly digitized 45-year dataset of environmental and biological observations from Long Island Sound.
15 October 2017: All members of the Baumann lab – Hannes, Emma, Chris, Julie and Jake had fun at an Open House event at the Avery Point Campus as part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations. The whole department participated with a flurry of educational activities and fun exhibitions.
Our lab manned a table outside the Rankin Lab, telling people about the nearshore fish community, the phenomenon of ocean acidification and the measurement of pH in water. Everybody chipped in, thanks!
Hannes also premiered reciting Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax” in front of young and old in the AP auditorium.
Check out some of the fun around the “Ocean Acidification and our fish” table:
10 October 2017. Today, Chris, Emma, and Julie measured over 400 juvenile Atlantic silversides for their length and weight. This time, however, we did not euthanize the fish before, but successfully measured them while still alive, only a little drowsy from the mild anesthetic we administered before.
Click on the video below to have a look for yourself.
Congratulations all, for a job well done!
October, 2nd, 2017: Happy to announce that Estuaries and Coasts just published (online) our article that looked at unifying principles of pH and DO fluctuations across many US nearshore habitats. The datasets belongs to the US Nearshore Estuaries Research Reserves System (NERRS) and is one of the most extensive monitoring datasets in coastal aquatic habitats. In this case, we used 15 years of continuous monitoring data (> 5 million data points) from 16 different reserves across the US Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific coasts and analyzed short- to long-term variability in pH and DO fluctuations. Among the highlights:
Our analyses confirmed that large, metabolically driven fluctuations of pH and DO are a unifying feature of nearshore habitats. Even more so, we were able to show that across habitats, one can predict mean pH or mean diel pH fluctuations simply based on salinity and oxygen levels/fluctuations. This provided strong empirical evidence that common metabolic principles drive diel to seasonal pH/DO variations within as well as across a diversity of estuarine environments.
As expected, there were no interannual, monotonic trends in nearshore pH conditions; instead interannual fluctuations were of similar magnitude than the pH decrease predicted for the average surface ocean over the next three centuries.
By correlating weekly anomalies of pH, oxygen, and temperature, we found strong empirical support for the notion that coastal acidification — in addition to being driven by eutrophication and atmospheric CO2 increases — is exacerbated simply by warming, likely via increasing community respiration.
On 19-21 September 2017, Chris Murray and Hannes Baumann traveled to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to attend the ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea) Annual Science Conference in order to present our ongoing NSF and NOAA funded research on potential ocean acidification effects in Atlantic Silversides and Northern Sand lance. Due to Hurricane Irma, which had impacted all of Florida just a week earlier, it was a great relief that the conference could actually be successfully held.
Emma Cross joined our team as a post-doctoral researcher in September 2017, after receiving her PhD from Cambridge University, UK, in spring 2016. Her previous work focused on the CO2-sensitivity of antarctic brachiopods, a group of ancient, sessile calcifiers that build large shells but are unrelated to mollusks. In addition to experimental approaches, she examined historical collections of specimens from New Zealand. Her findings suggest that brachiopods can cope with acidifying oceans by compensating for increased shell dissolution by increased shell growth. Emma now transitions to working with fish, particularly Atlantic silversides, testing how fluctuating pH and oxygen environments typical of nearshore environments affect early life survival and growth.
Here’s how Emma describes her first weeks of her new chapter of life and science:
“Everything is going swimmingly well so far (pun intended!). It is really great to be a part of the Baumann lab and I’m really enjoying expanding my knowledge of biological impacts of environmental change. My previous ocean acidification and warming research focussed on the effects on polar and temperate brachiopod shells so I’m now looking forward to investigating more climate change stressors and impacts on different taxa. I have already participated in my first beach seining trip exploring the local biodiversity and getting a feel for the regular fieldwork undertaken by the Baumann lab. It was lots of fun and I’m so excited to be carrying out research at an Institute located right on the ocean again! I am also enjoying living in a new country and looking forward to exploring more once I’ve finished building all my flatpack furniture!”
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.
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!”
It’s the beginning of June, and in the Baumann lab that means: high time for experimental research on the Atlantic Silverside, the famous forage fish and important model species! This year, we have several major objectives; our NSF-sponsored research examines the sensitivity of offspring to the individual and combined effects of high CO2 and low oxygen (Chris Murray), while in collaboration with our colleagues from Cornell University we rear several families for genetic and transcriptomic studies. Elle Parks, our REU student just started her work on the effects of CO2 and temperature on the starvation resistance of silverside larvae. As always, the days when new experiments start are a group effort, where everybody including many volunteers help. Thanks to Peter Morenus (UConn) for the coming down for documenting the activities!
Chris Murray inspects a screen with newly fertilized Atlantic Silverside embryos, prior to starting a new set of experiments. (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)
All adult silversides used to produce new offspring are getting measured and preserved. (Photo: Peter Morenus, UConn)
Hannes shows Elle Parks (REU 2017), how individual screen with enumerated embryos are suspended into the replicate rearing containers. (Photo: Peter Morenus, UConn)
Hydrated, ready to be fertilized eggs extrude from a running ripe female Atlantic silverside when putting gentle pressure on the abdomen. (Photo: Peter Morenus, UConn)
On 9 June 2017, members of the Baumann lab all help to start a new set of experiments in the Rankin Lab at UConn Avery Point. From left to right: Julie Pringle, Hannes Baumann, Elle Parks, Jacob Snyder, James Harrington, Isaiah Mayo, Chris Murray). (Photo: Peter Morenus, UConn)
The Baumann lab, June 2017: from left to right; Isaiah Mayo, Julie Pringle, Chris Murray, Elle Parks, Hannes Baumann, Jacob Snyder, James Harrington + "Bear". (Photo: Peter Morenus, UConn)
Screens with enumerated embryos are suspended in each rearing container using fishing line. (Photo: Peter Morenus, UConn)
Chris and Jake strip-spawning. (Photo: Peter Morenus, UConn)