Novel in vitro and in vivo protocols

RESEARCH THEME - 2 Novel in vitro and in vivo protocols

Part of my past and ongoing work has been to develop protocols to monitor cellular responses (pH, O2 transport, ion-regulation, water balance) to environmental stress in fish.

Under this theme, one of my most important contributions to my research field has concerned the evolution of O2 transport in fish, specifically the capacity of mild acidosis, such as environmental hypercapnia (high CO2) or exercise, to aid in enhancing O2 delivery.

This discovery sheds insight into the evolution of one of the most successful groups of vertebrates: the fishes.

Building on this discovery, I have also determined that some teleosts and elasmobranchs appear to maintain or even enhance metabolic performance upon acclimation to elevated CO2 levels that will accompany ocean acidification in the coming decades.

I have since delved into the mechanistic basis for enhanced performance, from the level of the mitochondria, ion transporters, and metabolic enzymes in the gill and muscle, to the O2 transport capacity of the blood. My foundation in mechanistic physiology and techniques I have honed over the past several years, including microsurgery, implanting fiber optic O2 sensors directly into muscle tissue or arteries to monitor O2 delivery in real- time, imaging blood flow patterns during environmental or exercise-induced stress, and assessing the effects of various environmental factors on O2 binding properties of blood have helped me to design integrative studies to link physiological mechanisms to how an organism copes in its environment.