Poster presentation on biomechanics research of marine larvae.
Abstract:Many bottom-dwelling marine animals produce microscopic larvae that are dispersed by ambient water currents. These larvae can only recruit to habitats on which they have landed if they can resist being washed away by ambient water flow. We found that larvae on marine surfaces do not experience steady water flow, but rather are exposed to brief pulses of water movement as turbulent eddies sweep across them. We made video recordings of larvae of the tube worm, Hydroides elegans, (important members of the community of organisms growing on docks and ships) on surfaces subjected to measured realistic flow pulses to study factors that might affect their dislodgement from surfaces in nature. We found that the response of a larva of H. elegans to a realistic pulse of water flow depended on its behavior at the time of the pulse and on its recent history of exposure to flow pulses, and that stationary larvae were less likely than locomoting larvae to be blown away when hit by the first pulse of water flow.
Presentions: (1) NSF CAMP conference 2012, Irvine, California and (2) American Indian Science and Engineering Society National Conference 2012, Anchorage, Alaska.
Awards: Special Recognition in the Biological Sciences NSF CAMP conference 2012.
Poster presentation on international research conducted at Lecce, Italy.
Abstract:Research efforts involving Clytia hummelincki have declined due to the difficulty in its cultivation technique in a laboratory setting. Because this hydrozoa is a successful invasive species of the Mediterranean Sea (Boero 1997) it is essential and important to continue research efforts to complete our knowledge of this inconspicuous organism. We developed a new laboratory technique at the Boero Lab in the University of Lecce, Italy, for the cultivation of Clytia hummelincki We monitored its growth rate and life span and found that both depend on the proper feeding of this hydrozoan, a factor never monitored in the past. This new discovery allowed us to properly feed the hydrozoans and increase their life spans in a laboratory setting to 14 days. With this development, hydrozoan taxonomists will be able to continue their research efforts involving Clytia hummelincki and investigate this species’ successful invasion and severe competition against other marine organisms.
Presentations: NSF CAMP 2013
Awards: Honorable Mention in Biological Sciences in NSF CAMP Conference 2013, Irvine, California.