Welcome to the Tarrant Lab

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Lab summer 2014. Left to right: Ali Thabet, Amalia Almada, Ann Tarrant, Maja Edenius, and Amy Maas posing as their preferred model organisms. Not pictured: Ian Jones (photo Maggie Dwyer)

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Lab Summer 2013 (Clockwise from front left): Amalia Aruda, Amy Maas, Ann Tarrant, Maja Edenius. Also pictured: a random goat and a stranger's back. (photo: LB)

Research Interests

We use molecular tools to better understand how animals detect and respond to signals and stresses in the marine environment environment. Our approach is highly comparative.

New!!  Open access paper. My favorite part is comparisons between possible circadian gene expression patterns in corals and Nematostella.

Oren M, Tarrant AM, Alon S, Simon-Blecher N, Elbaz I, Applebaum L, Levy O. (2015) Profiling molecular and behavioral circadian rhythms in the non-symbiotic sea anemone Nematostella vectensis. Scientific Reports 5:11418. DOI:10.1038/srep11418.

Two areas of current research are listed below. Additional information is provided through the links on the left.

Cnidarian Regulatory Biology and Stress Responses

We study many aspects of bioregulation in corals and sea anemones. The starlet sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis is native to salt marshes along the Atlantic coast of the US. Nematostella is remarkably tolerant of large ranges of temperature and salinity as well as extended periods of starvation. Reef-building corals are relatives of the sea anemones and are impacted by diverse stressors ranging from climate change to local changes in water quality. It is not clear how these distinct stressors may interact to disrupt natural signaling pathways.

We know relatively little about how cnidarians perceive and respond to natural signals in their environment. Some areas of active research include circadian rhythms, the regulation of energetic metabolism, and effects of organic pollutants (oil and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) on cnidarian physiology.

We are also interested in the natural genetic variation within a species or population. Individual animals vary in their sensitivity to a stressor. We are investigating variariation in the responses of juvenile corals to ocean acidification.

Regulation of Calanoid Copepod Diapause

We are interested in the physiological signals that trigger the initiation, maintenance and termination of diapause in the calanoid copepod Calanus finmarchicus.

We have conducted Illumina-based sequencing and qPCR expression profiling to characterize changes in gene expression as animals progress toward the terminal molt (cultured animals) or prepare for diapause (most field animals).



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Last updated June 23, 2015
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