Welcome to the Tarrant Lab

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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)


Lab Summer 2011: (clockwise from upper left) Ann Tarrant, Adam Reitzel (Postdoctoral Fellow), Jacky Kwok (guest student, Chinese University of Hong Kong), Jessica Morgan (Plymouth North High School), Not pictured: Amalia Aruda (Ph.D. Student) Amy Maas (Postdoctoral Scholar)

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Summer 2008 : (from left) Ann Tarrant, Amalia Aruda (summer student fellow, Georgetown University), Allison Tracy (guest student, Princeton University), Adam Reitzel (postdoctoral scholar)


Research Interests

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

NEW!! In December 2013, we will be organizing a Nematostella research community workshop at the 8th International Conference on Colenterate Biology

In January 2013, we will be hosted titled “Keeping time during animal evolution: conservation and innovation of the circadian clock"at the annual meeting of the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB). Symposium proceedings are available in Integrative and Comparative Biology 53(1). 

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 iniitiation, maintenance and termination of diapause in the calanoid copepod Calanus finmarchicus.In 2012, with our collaborators in the Baumgartner lab, we traveled to Trondheim, Norway, where we worked with Norwegian scientists to extensively sample C5 copepodite from a continuous culture and a natural field population.

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). We are preparing results for publication and will be presenting some of this work at the February 2014 Ocean Sciences meeting.



 

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Last updated November 8, 2013
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