Research Areas, Project Websites & Selected Publications

Global-Change-Biology

We focus on experimental approaches to study effects of ocean warming, acidification and oxygen loss on coastal marine organisms.

We built ALFiRiS, an automated larval fish rearing system that allows up to 9 independent combinations of pCO2, temperature, and oxygen conditions, controlled by LabView Software. Model species have included the Atlantic silverside (Menidia menidia), Northern sand lance (Ammodytes dubius), and most recently Black sea bass (Centropristis striata).

We also built specialized enclosures for multigenerational climate change experiments with copepods, including Acartia tonsa and A. hudsonica.

Future environments can elicit a wide spectrum of responses in fish early life stages. Most responses are non-lethal under experimental conditions. Fishes from nearshore environments seem much more CO2 tolerant than those from offshore environments in high latitudes.

Project websites:

ALFiRiS | Silverside and sandlance multistressor research | Copepod adaptation NSF

Selected publications


Genetics

We broadly use molecular tools to answer eco-evolutionary questions about population structure, and adaptation of marine organisms to environmental gradients in space (local adaptation) and time (climate change). NSF-funded research on the genomic underpinnings of Atlantic silverside latitudinal adaptation despite gene flow has already yielded several breakthrough discoveries, while more recently research on sand lance populations structure has discovered the existence of two distinct population cluster of this species on Northwest Atlantic shelf. We are fortunate to pair up in these endeavors with the Therkildsen lab at Cornell University - the true genomic experts.

Genomic tools are also broadly deployed to understand the multi-generational laboratory adaptation to warming and acidification in the copepod species Acartia tonsa and A. hudsonica. We collaborate with the Dam lab at UConn and the Pespeni lab at the University of Vermont.

Project websites:

NSF Atlantic silverside local adaptation research | Copepod adaptation NSF

Selected publications

  • Jones, L.F., Lou, R.N., Murray, C.S., Robert, D., Bourne, C.M., Bouchard, C., Carlon, D.B., Wiley, D.N., Therkildsen, N.O., and Baumann, H.
    Whole genome sequencing reveals two large population clusters of Ammodytes dubius on the Northwest Atlantic shelf.
    ICES Journal of Marine Science (in submission)
  • Reid S. Brennan, R.S., deMayo, J.A., Dam, H.G., Finiguerra, M., Baumann, H., Buffalo, V., and Pespeni, M.H.
    Experimental evolution reveals the synergistic genomic mechanisms of adaptation to ocean warming and acidification in a marine copepod
    PNAS (in revision)
Fishotoliths

Otoliths and scales of fishes contain treasure troves of information. Daily and annual increments can reveal the age of individuals, while the proportionality of otolith/scale and fish somatic growth allows back-calculating individual growth histories to study selective survival of fish early life stages. Furthermore, the trace elements contained in the protein/calcium carbonate matrix of fish otoliths can reveal changing water masses and therefore ontogenetic habitat changes. Otolith analysis has been one of the longest continuous research foci of the Baumann lab, dating all the way back to 2001.

Over the years, we have worked on many different fish species, including Radiated shannies (Ulvaria subbifurcata), sprat (Sprattus sprattus), Rolland's Demoiselle (Chrysoptera rollandi), Atlantic silversides (Menidia menidia), Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis), Northern sand lance (Ammodytes dubius), Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus) and Black Sea Bass (Centropristis striata)

Selected publications

Timeseries-correlation

Measuring and documenting environmental variability is one of most important, if undervalued scientific efforts. Here at the Baumann lab we conduct nearshore monitoring ourselves (Mumford Cove, CT timeseries) and work with large data repositories to answer questions related to climate change, nearshore vs. offshore variability, correlated processes such as pH and dissolved oxygen dynamics, all the way up to global scale coastal latitudinal temperature gradients.

We have also helped Project Oceanology, an organization dedicated to ocean literacy in K-12 students, to digitize their 40+ year data and synthesize them to reveal long-term changes to Long Island Sound.

Selected publications

Conservation

Research in our lab contributes to contemporary conservation issues. For example, our close collaborative ties with Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTDEEP) has led to NOAA/SeaGrant funded research on age/growth and seasonal movement patterns in endangered Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus)

Project websites:
Atlantic sturgeon in the Connecticut River

Selected publications

Fisheries

Why do fish populations vary? Despite being eagerly pursued for decades, the question has not lost it's urgency and importance. Fish populations often fluctuate naturally in abudance, driven by environmental variability affecting the early life stages and thereby the size of new year classes. Sustainable fish stock managements relies on good information and good science to allow responsible resource use.

Focus species for recruitment research have been Baltic sprat (Sprattus sprattus) and most recently Black Sea Bass (Centropristis striata)

Selected publications