Environmental Physiology Lab
Physiology of salmonid development
The early environment surrounding a developing embryo often shapes the adult morphology, physiology and behavior. In other words, the developmental process is plastic. We are interested in how water temperature and/or oxygen levels during critical windows of early zebrafish development alter the long-term thermal and hypoxia tolerance of the adult fish. We are also interested in whether developmental plasticity or adult acclimation both influence thermal preference in eurythermal mangrove rivulus. As well, mangrove rivulus embryos survive and hatch out of water, a possible physiological advantage because air holds ~30x more oxygen than water. We are studying the developmental consequences of early air exposure in mangrove rivulus. Recent studies have shown that aerial incubation of embryos reduces the energetic costs of development partly by reducing the necessity of embryonic movements to dispel stagnant boundary layers. These and other projects address the fundamental relationship between genetic and environmental influences on the adult phenotype.