Atlantic Silverside

[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] 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.

[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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[Research news] Live staining of silverside neuromasts at URI

By Emma Cross.

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23 Juli 2018. Yesterday Hannes and Emma took a short road trip to the University of Rhode Island to visit Professor Jacqueline Webb’s lab to learn about in vivo fluorescent imaging.

This technique involves placing live fish in a fluorescent mitrochondrial stain for 5 minutes before imaging different areas of the fish under a dissecting microscope equipped with an epiflourescence light source. This allowed us to visualize small sense organs called neuromasts located in tubular canals in the head, trunk and tail, which form the fish sensory lateral line system used to detect water flows.


We are interested to see if high CO2 conditions affect these neuromasts in the Atlantic silverside, which could impact their critical schooling behaviors.

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Take a look at some of the stunning images below! Thank you to Jackie and all the lab for a fun-filled day!

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[New publication] Complex CO2 x temperature effects in Menidia offspring

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20 July 2018. We are happy to announce that Diversity just published Chris Murray’s paper on complex CO2 x temperature effects in Atlantic silverside offspring. The paper synthesizes 5 large multistressor experiments conducted since 2014, finding evidence for the large CO2 tolerance in this species across a large temperature range.

Congrats, Chris, to the second chapter published!

  • Murray, C.S. and Baumann, H. You better repeat it: complex temperature × CO2 effects in Atlantic silverside offspring revealed by serial experimentation. Diversity 10:69

  • MurrayBaumann-Fig1
    M. menidia. Offspring responses to control (blue), high (red), and extreme (green) CO2 conditions at four temperatures across five CO2 × temperature factorial experiments. Traits include embryo survival (A–E), hatch length (F–I), larval survival (J–N) and larval growth rate (O–R). Individual replicates are represented by small faded circles. Treatment means (±SD) are depicted by large, bold circles and connected by dotted lines. Note: different scales used for hatch length measurements due to differences in sample timing; panels F and G use 1dph length Y axis (left) while panels H and I use hatch length Y axis (right).

    [Lab news] Baumann lab attends the Larval Fish Conference in Victoria

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    Sydney-Stark
    Holding the fort at the Rankin lab were Emma and Sydney, who did an excellent job. Thank you guys!

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    The Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort was the conference venue

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    Before the conference, we all attended a workshop on larval fish identification

    https://www.fishersci.com/shop/products/fisherbrand-class-a-clear-glass-threaded-vials-attached-caps-pe-poly-seal-cone-liner-8/14955326
    Whale-watching with Corinne, Julie & Chris
    Here is how Julie experienced her first LFC:

    Ever since attending the American Fisheries Society conference in 2014, I’ve wanted to go to another fish-focused conference. I was lucky enough to attend the 42nd annual Larval Fish Conference this year in Victoria, British Columbia, and it surpassed all my expectations. The week started off with a larval fish identification workshop where we got to learn techniques from renowned larval fish experts (and see some really cool fish larvae!). The talks were impressive and thought-provoking, providing many new ideas for research and how to give an engaging talk. My favorite part was meeting all the larval fish ecologists whose publications I’ve been reading for my thesis. I spent most of my evenings exploring Victoria with other grad students attending the conference and left with many new friends from institutes all over the world! The trip ended with a whale watch, where we saw a pod of 5 Orcas. Overall, the Larval Fish Conference was a great experience that I hope to someday attend again!


    Oral presentations:

    • Pringle, J. and Baumann, H. Sex-specific growth and mortality patterns in juvenile Atlantic silversides (Menidia menidia) from Connecticut waters. Talk. 42nd Larval Fish Conference, Victoria, BC, Canada 24-28 June 2018
    • Murray, C.S., Wiley, D., and Baumann, H. Early life stages of the northern sand lance Ammodytes dubius show high sensitivity to acidification and warming in a CO2 × temperature factorial experiment. Talk. 42nd Larval Fish Conference, Victoria, BC, Canada 24-28 June 2018

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    Water taxi in Victoria

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    Old Victoria
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    Beyond this point …
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    Orca whale
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    Harbor front with Parliament building
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    Local celebrity, the one eyed seal

    [Lab video] How a new silverside experiment starts

    29 June 2018. A new experiment with Atlantic silversides (Menidia menidia) starts and as usual, it’s an all hand on deck operation. This time, we have Chris Tsang shadowing all of us and Emma professionally explaining the process.

    Have a look for yourself!

    [Research news] A day at Harvards MCZ

    Friday, 8 June 2018. Hannes and Maria traveled to Boston’s Harvard University to meet with Valentina di Santo from the Lauder Lab at the Museum for Comparative Zoology. Thanks to our collaborators there, we were able to use a 2D-digital X-ray machine there, which we needed to complete the next big step in our Menidia Gene project.

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    Genetic & body samples went in different vials
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    Maria Akopyan processing the fish after x-raying
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    Maria and Valentina in the shark section of the collection

    A few weeks ago, Maria had already measured each individual fish's length, weight, shape, routine metabolism, and maximum sustained swim speed. The next trait we're keen on mapping quantitatively to the silverside genome is the number of vertebrae, which we know increases in wild populations from south to north. What will our South/North hybrid F2 generation show?
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    At the Lauder lab, ‘lunch together’ is common thing

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    The famous Latimeria from the collection
    Thanks to Valentina's excellent help, the work went without a hitch. At the end, we even had some spare time to enjoy the great atmosphere int the Lauder Lab during lunchtime, the tour through various lab installations, the experimental fish, and even the adjacent Harvard Zoological museum. Thank you all for the fun day at Harvard!

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    Settings used for x-raying juvenile silversides
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    Hannes and Valentina in the x-ray room
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    George Lauder adjusting equipment in the swim lab

    The 282 fish are now split in a DNA sample for extraction and a body sample for further trait measurements.

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    A busy day in the Baumann Lab

    On 18 May 2018, the Baumann lab teemed with activity. Maria Akopyan from Cornell University was busy phenotyping juvenile silversides for our Menidia Gene project. Mia and Mackenzie were busy working up field samples of silversides. And Hannes prepared adult silverside samples for later analyses.