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[Lab news] Callie attends UConn climate change symposium

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UConn DMS students present their research (u.l. Kelly McGarry, u.r. Halle Berger, l.l. Sarah McCart, l.r. Alec Shub
By Callie Concannon. On April 30th, four graduate students from the Marine Science Department traveled to UConn, Storrs to present their research at UConn’s 2nd Climate Research Symposium cohosted by the Geology and Marine Science departments. The students were Kelly McGarry (Ph.D student; top left), Halle Berger (Master’s student; top right), Sarah McCart (Master’s student; bottom left) and Alec Shub (Master’s student; bottom right). Everyone’s presentations were well received, and Sarah McCart even won the graduate student poster competition!

The event featured two keynote speakers; Professor Margaret Rubega of UConn, and Professor Tim Cronin of MIT. Professor Rubega talked about science communication and how the scientific community could better communicate their climate change research to non-scientists without using overbearing jargon and too many words. Professor Cronin gave a speech on his past research on the suppression of Arctic air formation with climate warming.


  • McCart, S., Lund, D., Seeley, E., Asimov, P., Lewis, M., and Mudahy, A.L. Testing the sea level hypothesis with new results from the Pacific.
  • McGarry, K., Siedlecki, S., Alin, S., and Salisbury, J. Empirical models for estimating the carbonate system along the northeastern coast of the U.S.
  • Berger, H., Siedlecki, S., Matassa, C., Alin, S., Kaplan, I., Pilcher, D., and Newton, J. Using projections from regional oceanographic forecasts to assess the vulnerability of the Dungeness crab to climate change stressors.
  • Shub, A., Lund, D., and Mudahy, A.L., Does expansion of Antarctic bottom water result in storage of CO2 in the abyssal Atlantic?

[Lab news] Emma turns 30 and starts a new silverside experiment!

3 May 2019. It is Emma’s 30th birthday today, so naturally she celebrates it by starting a new, large experiment with Atlantic silversides, thus sharing her special day with more than 5,000 little embryos that are now developing in our system.

Like in our previous experiments, we are mimicking current and future coastal environments that fluctuate daily in CO2 and oxygen levels – thanks to our computer-controlled system that manipulates these levels in up to nine tanks simultaneously.

But this time, our additional goal is to keep track of sib-ship. We produced full sibs (same mother, same father), half-sibs (same mother or father, different father or mother) and unrelated individuals, and by keeping them separate we will later be able to calculate additive genetic variances in the various traits under different conditions (i.e., heritability) and examine trait correlations.

Breeding design


As usual, this could not be done by one person, so the entire lab helped preparing, seining, and fertilizing embryos on this frantic day. Great job all!

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Chris

[Lab news] Whole life cycle CO2 fish are getting sampled

18 April 2019. This Thursday was a long day in the Baumann lab, because we sampled and processed over 200 adult silversides from a unique experiment. These fish were fertilized in the lab and reared from eggs to adulthood under different temperatures and contrasting CO2 conditions. We are interested to see, if future ocean conditions have measurable effects on this species fecundity, growth, and oocyte characteristics. We also took tissue and genetic samples, with an effective line-up of hands, i.e., Hannes, Emma, Chris, Callie and Lucas.
Good teamwork all!


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[Publication] Brachiopods thicken shells to compensate for shell dissolution under future OA conditions

15 April 2019. Today, Emma is happy to report that Environmental Science & Technology have just published the latest paper from her PhD about brachiopod resilience to future ocean acidification. This project involved long-term culturing of a polar and a temperate brachiopod under future ocean acidification and warming conditions. Substantial shell dissolution posed a threat to both species under ocean acidification, with more extensive dissolution occurring in the polar species.

Unexpectedly, we discovered that brachiopods thicken their shell from the inner shell surface when extensive dissolution occurs at the outer shell surface under ocean acidification. This is an important finding to further our understanding of how predicted vulnerable marine calcifiers might cope under future environmental change.


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Cross, E. L., Harper, E. M. and Peck, L. S. 2019. Thicker shells compensate extensive dissolution in brachiopods under future ocean acidification. Environmental Science & Technology (published online March 29, 2019).

[Publication] The Project Oceanology time-series has been published!

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Project Oceanology students onboard the “Enviro-Lab II” retrieve a trawl in the Thames River Mouth (Photo: Anna Sawin)

21 March 2019. We are happy to announce that Marine Environmental Research just published our most recent paper about long-term ecological change in eastern Long Island Sound based on data collected by Project Oceanology!For his Master’s thesis, Jacob Snyder painstakingly retrieved and digitized more than 40 years of environmental observations from Project Oceanology. This non-profit ocean literacy organization has educated middle and high school students on boat trips to nearby estuarine sites for decades. For the first time, his work allowed a quantitative evaluation of these data and glimpses into the abiotic and biotic changes in nearshore waters of Eastern Long Island Sound.

Highlights

  • Citizen-science observations revealed rapid warming, acidification, and dissolved oxygen loss over the past 40 years in eastern Long Island Sound
  • Otter trawl catches showed significant decreases in overall species diversity and richness
  • Cold-water adapted species (American lobster, winter flounder) decreased, but warm-water adapted species (spider crabs) increased since 1997

Citation

Public outreach

News coverage: UConn Today | New Haven Register | The Hour | NonProfit Quarterly | WSHU Public Radio


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Long-term changes in temperature, pH, and oxygen in the Thames River Mouth (eastern Long Island Sound)
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Catch indices of four major species in Project Oceanology trawls over the past two decades

[Publication] Meta-analysis of silverside CO2 experiments published!

28 November 2018. Hannes, Emma, and Chris are happy to announce that Biology Letters just published our latest study, a meta-analysis of 20 standard CO2 exposure experiments conducted on Atlantic silverside offspring between 2012-2017. All these years of sustained experimental work resulted in the most robustly constrained estimates of overall CO2 effect sizes for a marine organism to date.
The study demonstrated:

  • A general tolerance of Atlantic silverside early life stages to pCO2 levels of ~2,000 µatm
  • A significant overall CO2 induced reduction of embryo and overall survival by -9% and -13%, respectively
  • The seasonal change in early life CO2 sensitivity in this species
  • The value of serial experimentation to detect and robustly estimate CO2 effects in marine organisms

Baumann, H., Cross, E.L., and Murray, C.S. Robust quantification of fish early life CO2 sensitivities via serial experimentation. Biology Letters 14:20180408


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This figure shows the summary of early life responses to high CO2 conditions in Atlantic silversides across all experiments conducted between 2012-2017. Effect size was estimated using the log-transformed response ratio (A-D). Error bars are 95% confidence intervals. The responses are considered significant if the confidence interval does not include zero. Panels E-F: seasonal decomposition of response ratios, showing that silverside early life stages are most sensitive to high CO2 at the beginning and end of their spawning season.

[Research news] Sandlance are spawning on Stellwagen Bank again!

15 November 2018. After a stretch of foul weather kept us from going out to Stellwagen Bank last week, this time all the stars aligned for Emma and Mackenzie. Due to their success in catching spawning ripe Northern sandlance, we are now embarking on our third year of CO2 x temperature experiments on this species!


Mackenzie-Blanusa
Here is how Mackenzie Blanusa experienced her first trip to these enigmatic waters:
“This particular sandlance cruise was a day filled with firsts and is definitely a trip to remember. I accompanied Emma, Hannes’ postdoc, up to Scituate the night before the cruise and was given a rundown of what needed to be accomplished. I was a bit overwhelmed at first, because I’ve never dealt with sandlances before and did not know a lot about these fish. Nevertheless, I was eager to learn something new and was ready to help out wherever needed.

The goal of the sandlance cruise was to collect running ripe males and females to do a fertilization via strip spawning. Emma and I were a bit doubtful at first because we got less than 10 sandlance on the first two trolls. However, things got much better by the afternoon, and our most successful trawl caught 147 sand lance. I helped out with the fertilization and deploying the trawl, two things I have never done before. The most exciting part of the day was getting to see humpback whales. Usually they are in the distance but today they were right next to the boat. Everyone on board said that this never happens and it was very unusual so I felt very lucky to have seen whales at such a close proximity.”

Overall, the trip was a huge success and it was very refreshing to see everything go as planned. The only downside to the day was driving back home through a snowstorm. I later found out that there was a 73% fertilization success and we got 27,000 embryos for Emma’s experiment. I am very grateful to have gotten the opportunity to help out on this sampling cruise and am looking forward to doing this again in the future!


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Emma on the makeshift spawning station for sand lance on board the RV Auk
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Mackenzie strip-spawning sand lance on the ship

Stellwagen whales
Added perks of doing research on Stellwagen Bank …


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Exactly 0.5ml of sand lance eggs (~ 600) were distributed into each replicate per treatment
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Emma and Julie pipetting sand lance eggs

[Lab news] Baumann & Therkildsen lab on a silverside road trip

28 October 2018. Members of the Therkildsen (Nina Therkildsen, Maria Akopyan) and Baumann labs (Hannes Baumann, Callie Concannon) went on a joint road trip together to sample juvenile Atlantic silversides for our NSF project about the genomic underpinnings of local adaptation in the ocean. We targeted again three sites, Morehead City NC, Oregon Inlet NC, and Chincoteague Island VA, sampling silversides via beach seine. The weather was lousy and the work strenuous, but the mood elated, because we got all the fish we needed for subsequent genomic and otolith analyses.
What a great collaboration. Check out some of the pictures from the trip below.

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[Lab news] Baumann lab participates in first DMS sea course

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12 October 2018. This year, the Department of Marine Sciences at UConn Avery Point has conducted his first graduate course on physical and biological oceanographic methods, which culminated in a two day research cruise aboard the newly stretched R/V Connecticut. The cruise sampled stations from Eastern Long Island Sound all the way out the continental shelf, deploying CTD’s, sediment corers and grabs, as well as zooplankton and nekton nets. Callie and Hannes from the Baumann lab were part of the fun!


Check out some of the action in the youtube clip below.


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f.l.t.r.: Alec Shub, Michael Mathuri, Hannes Baumann, Samantha Siedlecki, James O’Donnell, James DeMayo, Amin Ilia, Callie Concannon, Molly James
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[Lab news] Baumann lab goes sailing!

Stonington, 21 September 2018: On this windy Friday afternoon, Lucas invited the Baumann lab on a little sailing tour on board of his boat, which he also calls home. Thanks to the professional skipper qualities of Lucas and Julie, the rest of us had to just lean back and enjoy the sea and the wind and the company. Thanks to all!

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From left to right: Chris Murray, Hannes Baumann, Emma Cross, Callie Concannon, Julie Pringle, Lucas Jones

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