Biology of Climate Change

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Clio pyramidata a thecosome pteropod. We have assembled a transcriptome for this species and investigated the effects of short term exposure to elevated pCO2. (photo by A. Maas)

     Climate change, broadly speaking, is a cross-cutting motivation for much of our work. Some current and recent projects including studying thermal stress on reefs, effects of ocean acidification on corals and pteropods, and effects of hypoxia and chemical pollutants on fish physiology. In each case, we are interested in the capacity of animals to adapt and respond to changes in their environment, and the consequences of such responses to the organism.

     One current project related to climate change is described below.

Impacts of ocean acidification on pteropod physiology

Thecosome pteropods are a group of pelagic gastropods that produce thin shells of aragonite, a form of calcium carbonate. It is still unclear how ocean acidification will affect pteropod physiology, including their ability to form shells and the energy required for shell formation. Using next-generation sequencing techniques, we are working to assemble a pteropod transcriptome and determine how gene expression is affected by short-term exposure to acidified water.

This project is currently funded by the National Science Foundation (Maas, Lawson and Tarrant). The project is a collaboration between the Tarrant and Lawson labs at WHOI and Amy Maas (now at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences.


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Last updated April 12, 2016
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