tech school in florida


tech school in florida


tech school in floridatech school in florida
Research Interests
Aquatic toxicology: rapid toxicity assessment using aquatic invertebrates, genetic responses to environmental stress, coral ecotoxicology; Population biology: chemical communication among zooplankton, mate recognition, speciation in aquatic environments, aquatic ecology, aquaculture.

Current Research
The research team in my laboratory has focused on the mechanisms of chemical communication among aquatic invertebrates. We are interested in a surface glycoprotein that acts as a mating pheromone in female rotifers and copepods which is used to signal males of their species. These molecules are evolutionarily important because males make decisions about species, sex, and age of their mate based on their structure. Vanation in pheromone structure can lead to behavioral reproductive isolation and eventually speciation. Our efforts are directed at unraveling how molecular events at the surface of cells cause evolutionary changes in populations. These glycoproteins on the body surface of females are detected on contact by receptors on males. We have developed biochemical techniques for the isolation and structural characterization of these signal molecules. Work is in progress to determine how the pheromones vary among populations and the level of reproductive isolation associated with the vanants.

A second area of investigation for my research group is the response of aquatic animals to anthropogenic stress. We are examining genes that are differentially expressed in aquatic invertebrates in response to toxicant exposure. Differential display PCR is used to identify cDNAs that are upregulated upon toxicant exposure. We are currently identifying several genes in stony corals that could provide information about whether these animals have been exposed to toxicants, the level of stress imposed, and the type of stressor present. Our intention is to develop assays that are rapid, sensitive, and can be used for a wide variety of animals. These techniques represent a significant advance over existing methodology because they provide information about the mechanism of toxic action. In a related project, we are examining how pollutants interfere with chemical communication in aquatic animals. Our work on pheromone communication has provided an exceptional opportunity to investigate this potentially ecologically significant mode of action of pollutants.

Localization of anti-gp29 on female Brachionus plicatilis rotifers. Gp29 is the 29 kD female glycoprotein both necessary and sufficient for exciting male mating behavior. Antibody binding sites were visualized as fluorescent patches with a biotin-avidin-fluorescein system.

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