Amazing Aquatic Athletes in the Anthropocene

THU, MAY 11, 2017 (1:02:36)

Globally, coral reefs are at risk from human-induced stressors – such as ocean warming, acidification, and hypoxia – now more than at any time in recorded history. Dramatic effects on fish performance, distribution, and overall ecosystem health are predicted. While the evolutionary success of fish is credited to their adaptations to challenging environmental conditions, whether they can keep pace with the large-scale, rapid changes plaguing their habitats today is not known. Coral reef fishes may be at greater risk as they diversified during a time of relatively stable environmental conditions, and today’s rapidly changing conditions may heighten their vulnerability.

Through her research, Dr. Jodie Rummer is tracking metabolic and swimming performance of fishes under climate-change relevant conditions, across development and species, and over multiple generations. This information is crucial for making predictions as to which species and/or populations may be most at risk from climate change and whether the fishes’ long evolutionary history will be enough to protect them from future changes in their habitat.

Photo: Dr. Jodie Rummer

+ BIO: Dr. Jodie Rummer

Jodie Rummer earned her Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia (UBC. Her Ph.D. thesis, under the supervision of Prof. Colin Brauner, focused on the evolution of oxygen uptake and delivery in fishes and the mechanisms used to maintain performance during stress.

Upon completing her Ph.D., Rummer worked with Prof. David J. Randall (emeritus, UBC), at the City University of Hong Kong as a Post-doctoral Fellow (2010-2011) where she investigated the role of secondary circulatory systems during stress in fish. In 2011, she was awarded an Australian Research Council “Super Science Fellowship” at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CoECRS) at James Cook University (JCU). At the CoECRS, she is currently a Senior Research Fellow (Assistant Professor level in North America) and was just awarded an ARC Discovery Grant (early career) to fund the next 3 years of her research. Broadly, her research program addresses coral reef fish adaptation and the resilience of coral reef ecosystems to climate change.

Partner
New England Aquarium
Series
Climate Change
Women in Science