Biology of Antarctic Fishes 2013
This will be Paula's second trip down to the Antarctic with the research team of Dr. Kristin O'Brien and Dr. Elizabeth Crockett. Her collaboration with Dr.s O'Brien and Crockett has continued since her first trip in 2011 and has meant interesting and exciting things for her students. During summer 2012 Paula and two of her students from Lindblom Academy of Math and Science in Chicago spent three weeks in Dr. O'Brien's lab at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, conducting research on samples collected during the 2011 expedition. Currently Paula's students are attempting to build a rudimentary remote operated vehicle (ROV) equipped with a light and a camera to be used to explore the fishing grounds in the West Antarctic Peninsular region. She plans to bring it down with her if they are successful. The first expedition's journals are available here: Biology of Antarctic Fishes.
Meet the Team
Teacher - Paula Dell
Paula is a national board certified science teacher at Lindblom Math and Science Academy in Chicago, Illinois. Ms. Dell developed a close working relationship with the Chicago Shedd Aquarium's education department during an excursion to study plant and animal life in the Bahamas, and works with them on many projects, including setting up an underwater remote operated vehicle (ROV) club at Lindblom. Ms. Dell believes that scientific exploration, in its many diverse forms, is a crucial step in understanding the world in which we live and in understanding the evolution of diversity and intricacy of organisms, environmental influences, and their interconnections. Ms. Dell is a strong proponent of teaching science through inquiry and pushes her students to design their own labs, to think through problems as a team, and propose explanations based on the evidence they collect. Just like "real" scientists.
Researcher - Kristin O'Brien
Kristin O'Brien is an associate professor of biology at the Institute of Arctic Biology within the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Her research is aimed at understanding how fishes maintain energy production at cold temperatures. She investigates the unique physiological and biochemical adaptations that have arisen in Antarctic fishes during their evolution in the icy cold waters of the Southern Ocean. Learn more about Dr. O'Brien and her work here.
Researcher - Lisa Crockett
Lisa Crockett is an associate professor of physiology in the Department of Biological Sciences at Ohio University. Lisa's primary interests are in metabolic cold adaptation and how membrane compositions are reorganized with variations in body temperatures. Lisa first began working in Antarctica as an undergraduate student with Dr. Art DeVries who discovered the antifreeze glycoproteins in Antarctic fishes. In addition to her role as collaborator in Antarctica, she also studies temperate fishes (e.g., striped bass, saltmarsh minnows and American eel) and the physiological and biochemical mechanisms that enable these animals to tolerate a wide range of temperatures and salinities. You can read more about her work here
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Where are They?
What are they Doing?
The loss of hemoglobin is considered a neutral mutation; one that neither enhances nor reduces fitness. However, the team hypothesizes that the loss of hemoglobin may be an advantage because hemoglobin promotes the formation of reactive oxygen species that damage macromolecules. Overall, the team's research is aimed at understanding the unique physiological and biochemical traits that have arisen in fishes during their evolution in the chronically cold waters of the Southern Ocean.
|Chicago Teacher and Students Build Underwater Camera Rig to Observe and Record Antarctic Fish||11 July 2013||This National Science Foundation Press Release details how PolarTREC teacher Paula Dell's students...||Article|