NOAA and Sea Grant fund $800,000 in research to understand effects of ocean changes on iconic Northeast marine life
The Ocean & Atmospheric Research program (OAR) of NOAA and Sea Grant just announced the winners of its most recent round of research funding to better understand the consequences of ocean warming and acidification on key marine resources in U.S. Northeast coastal waters. We are happy and proud that our proposed work on the climate sensitivity of Northern sand lance (Ammodytes dubius) was one of the four projects selected for funding. This is particularly good news for Chris Murray, who for his PhD can now expand his experimental rearing expertise to this important species.
This work will be conducted collaboratively with colleagues from NOAA (David Wiley), USGS (Page Valentine), Boston University (Les Kaufman), and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Scott Gallager).
You can read the official announcement as it appeared on 6 September 2016 on NOAA’s News site.
On 19-20 July, our lab temporarily transformed into a genetics laboratory, as Nina Therkildsen and her post-doc Aryn Pierce Wilder visited us from Cornell University (Therkildsen Lab). Their lab also shares the fascination for the Atlantic silverside as a model organism and has set out to eventually assemble the fully annotated genome of this species.
During their visit, they could accompany us for our bi-weekly beach seining in Mumford Cove, where we collected juveniles born this year as well as the last few spawning ripe adults at the end of the season. It was a great summer morning and fun for everyone.
In the lab, Nina and Aryn went on dissecting different types of tissue (muscle, liver, spleen, gills, fins) from a few specimens destined for genetic analyses. In the Rankin lab, we tried a novel procedure on this species, i.e., making haploid embryos by fertilizing strip-spawned eggs with sperm that was UV-radiated before.
Thank you for visiting, Nina and Aryn, and we will see you back in fall, when Nina will give a Friday seminar on 11 November 2016. We’re looking forward to what she will have to report!
Chris and Aryn prepare to take the beach seine to the water
Atlantic silversides from Mumford Cover swimming in a bucket
Hannes placing a bucket with water to collect silversides live
On 19 July 2016, Chris and Aryn pull the beach seine ashore, while Wes and Hannes prepare for retrieving the bag
Juvenile and adult silverside captured by beach seine in Mumford Cove on 19 July 2016
On 20 July 2016, Aryn prepares samples of silverside tissues for genetic analyses
On 19 July 2016, Nina and Hannes pull the first of two seines in Mumford Cove
Some eggs could be fertilized with sperm that was UV-radiated before in order to make haploid embryos
On 19 July 2016, our lab took Nina and Aryn beach seining (left to right: Chris, Aryn, Wes, Hannes)
Aryn has clearly fun beach seining
On 19 July 2016, Nina dissects different tissues from adult silvesides for genetic analyses
A careful squeeze of a silversides belly reveals whether a male or female is in spawning condition
A big shout-out to Megan, Rainer, and Liz who apart from their intrepid work as volunteers in our lab also excelled here in their video project for MARN3000. They interviewed Profs. Kelly Lombardo, Michael Finiguerra, and Hannes Baumann about aspects of Marine Climate Change and then cut their answers with researched video material from the web. Note the sartorial touch throughout the clip (6 min)!
Well done, all!
We are happy to announce the continued support of the National Science Foundation, Division of Biological Oceanography, which just started to fund our project about multi-stressor effects on the early life stages of fish. This is collaborative work with Prof. Janet Nye’s lab at Stony Brook University, NY, which will strengthen ties between UConn and Stony Brook Marine Sciences. The work has already started and we’re looking forward to new discoveries!
Baumann, H. and Nye, J. 2015. Collaborative research: Understanding the effects of acidification and hypoxia within and across generations in a coastal marine fish. NSF Project# 1536336 (3 years)
For the last 6 weeks, we housed about 100 adult sand lance (Ammodytes dubius) in our lab that Chris and Jake brought from a research cruise on Stellwagen Bank (Massachusetts Bay). We watched them visibly ripen in our tanks, and today managed to strip-spawn 10 males and 10 females, obtaining several thousands of eggs and having them develop under different CO2 conditions now.
Thumbs up, and fingers crossed for the next steps!
On Friday morning, a little search party crossed Bluff Point Park in the hazy morning hours. Hannes, Chris (+bear), Jake and our guest, David Conover from Stony Brook University, set out to find eggs of Atlantic silversides in the intertidal zone of Mumford Cove. Dr. Conover explained, how and where to look, while the fog slowly got burned off and a gorgeous spring day began. Later, Dr. Conover gave a Friday seminar at the Marine Sciences Department titled: “Crisis in the Funding of Basic Research in the Ocean Sciences: An Inside Perspective on NSF and the Role of the Community”. Thank you for your visit, David!
We have started recording pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and salinity in Mumford Cove, using our lab’s brand-new Eureka Manta Sub2 probe. Just in time, because soon we expect the arrival of spawning ripe Atlantic Silversides in the Cove. Thanks to Charlie Woods for the smooth boat ride from and to the institute.