Browsing by Author "Shaw, Ross"
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- ItemAbundance of the parasitic copepod Caligus elongatus on wild pollock near commercial salmonid net-pens(1996) Shaw, Ross; Opitz, M.Between July and December 1993, wild pollock Pollachius virens collected near salmonid net‐pens on the Atlantic coast of Maine in the United States were examined for parasitic copepods of the family Caligidae to determine the role of pollock as host reservoirs. Only Caligus elongatus was detected on 1,456 pollock sampled. Most pollock (97.39%) had two or fewer sea lice per fish. A maximum prevalence (percent of fish infested) of 50%, an abundance (average number per fish) of 0.9, and an intensity (average number per infested fish) of L79 were recorded. Only one larval C. elongatus was found. No seasonal or geographic trends in infestation statistics were observed.
- ItemAnalysis of organic and heavy metal pollutants in marine planktonic organisms from Bamfield, British Columbia by ICP-OES and GC-(2020) Schaub, Addison; Shaw, Ross; Mugo, SamuelPlankton form the base of the marine ecosystem (Levinton, J.S., 2017). It is for this reason it is important to understand the interactions between these critical organisms and the pollutants that they encounter. Heavy metals occur naturally in trace amounts and are continuously being released into the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere of the Earth (Atici et al., 2010; Burada et al., 2014; Callow, P., 1993). The increase in sea water temperatures is increasing the solubility of heavy metals in the water (Levinton, J.S., 2017). Organic pollutants such as pesticides are hydrophobic and lipophilic (Chiuchiolo et al., 2004). Previous results obtained by Kathryn Farmer in 2015 found that an increase in some heavy metals and not others in the four year difference in the Bamfield samples. Analysis of organic pollutants by GC-MS was unable to determine if peaks were the result of pesticides or not and was not able to identify any specific pesticides through the NIST library (Farmer, 2015). This analysis found the majority of the plankton samples showed significant difference between one another for all detected heavy metals. Analysis of organic pollutants was suspended sue to Covid-19 response.
- ItemAssessing the spread and establishment of Prussian carp (Carassius gibelio) in northern Alberta(2021) Jessen, Erika; Shaw, Ross; Das, MrinalThe Prussian carp (Cassasius gibelio) is an exceptionally dangerous invasive freshwater fish species. Native to Asia and eastern Europe, it has come to dominate many freshwater bodies across Eurasia through anthropogenic activities, causing extensive ecological damage by outcompeting native taxa and degrading environmental conditions. Within the last two decades, the Prussian carp has been introduced into Alberta, and has since spread into the rivers and lakes of the province. To date, most research relating to Prussian carp in North America has focused exclusively on southern Alberta. My research project aimed to expand research into northern Alberta, specifically the Edmonton region, with the objective to determine if Prussian Carp have spread into northern Alberta. Twelve lakes and ponds in the Edmonton area were surveyed using an underwater drone to collect footage. Four of these sites were further subjected to eDNA analysis. The results of the drone footage picked up a mixture of native and invasive fish species, with two being positive for goldfish. The eDNA analysis picked up neither goldfish or Prussian carp DNA at any of the test sites, likely due to low eDNA concentrations. Overall, these results highlight the need for ecological management to mitigate the spread of invasive fish species in Alberta.
- ItemCreative, interdisciplinary undergraduate research: an educational cell biology video game designed by students for students(2020) Sperano, Isabelle; Shaw, Ross; Andruchow, Robert; Cobzas, Dana; Efird, Cory; Brookwell, Brian; Deng, WilliamIn a three-year, practice-based, creative research project, the team designed a video game for undergraduate biology students that aimed to find the right balance between educational content and entertainment. The project involved 7 faculty members and 14 undergraduate students from biological science, design, computer science, and music. This nontraditional approach to research was attractive to students. Working on an interdisciplinary practice-based research project required strategies related to timeline, recruitment, funding, team management, and mentoring. Although this project was time-consuming and full of challenges, it created meaningful learning experiences not only for students but also for faculty members.
- ItemDetermining recovery success in Anthelia sp. after exposure to varying levels of thermal stress(2020) Hender, Rebecca; Shaw, RossCoral bleaching is a phenomenon caused by anthropogenically increased ocean temperatures, and may lead to the eventual death of massive reef systems. Bleaching is the result of corals expelling dinoflagellate endosymbionts in order to compensate for thermal stress. However, the loss of symbionts leads to a subsequent reduction in fluorescence intensity emitted by the coral. Substantial research has been done on coral bleaching due to environmental stressors, but little knowledge has been acquired about coral recovery after thermal stress. The present study aimed to determine how Anthelia species recover after being exposed to varying levels of temperature stress. Corals were exposed to varying levels of heat stress and subsequently brought back down in temperature to promote recovery. Using fluorescence microscopy, a relatively new method of quantifying coral health, and health-colour indices, recovery ability after thermal stress was determined. Analyses concluded that corals were able to successfully recover after thermal stress of 31°C, and exhibit a thermal compensation point around 30°C. However, beyond 31°C, recovery was not achievable. The findings of this study are beneficial to the larger coral research field because they indicate that corals do possess recovery ability up until reaching a fatal thermal maximum.
- ItemEcomorph or endangered coral? DNA and microstructure reveal Hawaiian species complexes: montipora dilatata/ flabellata/turgescens & M. patula/verrilli(2010) Forsman, Z. H.; Concepcion, G. T.; Haverkort, R. D.; Shaw, Ross; Maragos, J. E.; Toonen, R. J.M. dilatata, M. flabellata, and M. patula and 80 other scleractinian corals were petitioned to be listed under the US Endangered Species Act (ESA), which would have major conservation implications. One of the difficulties with this evaluation is that reproductive boundaries between morphologically defined coral species are often permeable, and morphology can be wildly variable. We examined genetic and morphological variation in Hawaiian Montipora with a suite of molecular markers (mitochondrial: COI, CR, Cyt-B, 16S, ATP6; nuclear: ATPsβ, ITS) and microscopic skeletal measurements. Mitochondrial markers and the ITS region revealed four distinct clades: I) M. patula/M. verrilli, II) M. cf. incrassata, III) M. capitata, IV) M. dilatata/M. flabellata/M. cf. turgescens. These clades are likely to occur outside of Hawai'i according to mitochondrial control region haplotypes from previous studies. The ATPsβ intron data showed a pattern often interpreted as resulting from hybridization and introgression; however, incomplete lineage sorting may be more likely since the multicopy nuclear ITS region was consistent with the mitochondrial data. Furthermore, principal components analysis (PCA) of skeletal microstructure was concordant with the mitochondrial clades, while nominal taxa overlapped. The size and shape of verrucae or papillae contributed most to identifying groups, while colony-level morphology was highly variable. It is not yet clear if these species complexes represent population-level variation or incipient speciation (CA<1MYA), two alternatives that have very different conservation implications. This study highlights the difficulty in understanding the scale of genetic and morphological variation that corresponds to species as opposed to population-level variation, information that is essential for conservation and for understanding coral biodiversity.
- ItemEffect of thermal stress on fluorescence and dinoflagellate density in the captive coral, Anthelia spp.(2018) Santos, Joleen; Shaw, RossThe obligate mutualistic relationship between corals and dinoflagellates is a classic example of symbiosis. Over the last few decades, coral reefs have been devastated by warm temperatures, hence, the necessity to develop a method to predict future mass bleaching events is higher than ever. Fluorescence might be used as an indicator of coral health, but very few studies have attempted to utilize it as a proxy for dinoflagellate density, which was the scope of the present research. The goal of this study was to determine the effects of thermal stress on fluorescence and dinoflagellate density in the captive coral, Anthelia spp.. Over a five-week period, tanks filled with Anthelia spp. underwent gradual increases in temperature, beginning at 28°C and ending at 33°C. Samples were quantified for fluorescence and dinoflagellate density using fluorescence microscopy and a maceration method. As the temperature gradually increased, fluorescence values subsequently decreased. In contrast, dinoflagellate density first increased until it reached a threshold, followed by a sudden drop in numbers. Symbionts might be increasing their mitotic rate in response to thermal stress to compensate for the shortage of photosynthate supply for their host. Therefore, fluorescence analysis may be a potential predictor of coral bleaching in Anthelia spp.
- ItemEffects of thermal stress on fluorescence and dinoflagellate density in the captive coral, Anthelia spp.(2018) Santos, Joleen; Shaw, RossThe obligate mutualistic relationship between corals and dinoflagellates is a classic example of symbiosis. Over the last few decades, coral reefs have been devastated by warm temperatures, hence, the necessity to develop a method to predict future mass bleaching events is higher than ever. Fluorescence might be used as an indicator of coral health, but very few studies have attempted to utilize it as a proxy for dinoflagellate density, which was the scope of the present research. The goal of this study was to determine the effects of thermal stress on fluorescence and dinoflagellate density in the captive coral, Anthelia spp. Over a five-week period, tanks filled with Anthelia spp. underwent gradual increases in temperature, beginning at 28°C and ending at 33°C. Samples were quantified for fluorescence and dinoflagellate density using fluorescence microscopy and a maceration method. As temperature gradually increased, fluorescence values subsequently decreased. In contrast, dinoflagellate density first increased until it reached a threshold, followed by a sudden drop in numbers. Symbionts might be increasing their mitotic rate in response to thermal stress to compensate for the shortage of photosynthate supply for their host. Therefore, fluorescence analysis may be a potential predictor of coral bleaching in Anthelia spp.
- ItemHost tracking and photosensitivity in Chaetogaster limnaei limnaei (Oligochaeta)(1992) Shaw, RossChaetogaster limnaei limnaei were separated from host snails (Physa skinneri) for increasing periods of time. The oligochaetes responded to a snail's slime trail by increased activity and distance moved along the slime trail. These responses increased with increasing periods of separation from the snail. When exposed to a directional light source, C. l. limnaei displayed an initial positive phototactic response. Movement towards light from the same direction decreased significantly in a second 4-h period, but movement towards light from a different direction was equivalent to the initial response, suggesting the response was an initial one to a change in light.
- ItemIdentifying unknown soft coral species of Anthelia (Octocorallia) with multilocus DNA barcoding(2023) Pataria, Mannraj; Shaw, Ross; Miller, Joshua M.There are an estimated 1-9 million species of corals yet to be discovered. Anthelia is a species of soft coral that belongs to the Xeniid ae family within Octocorallia. The Xeniidae family of soft corals are of interest due to their ability to rapidly recolonize disturbed reefs, which have become more prevalent with global warming. Octocorallia also contains some of the most valuable corals used in jewelry. Identifying corals not only contributes to its conservation and our knowledge of its evolution, but also prevents fraudulent coral jewelry and the overharvesting of coral beds. However, morphologically identifying corals is very difficult and is further exacerbated with global warming or when it is polished and carved into jewelry. Instead, multilocus DNA barcoding can utilize the genetic material of corals to reveal an accurate classification of species and prevent its exploitation. Specifically, genetic loci in the mitochondrial or nuclear genes can be used to tag and classify corals, with referencing done to genetic databases such as GenBank or NCBI. We identified the soft corals Anthelia glauca, Sarcophtyon tro cheliophorum, and a Sinularia spp. that was mistaken for a species of Nepthea.
- ItemInfection of Aulorhynchus flavidus (Gill) (Osteichthyes: Gasterosteiformes) by Kudoa thyrsites (Gilchrist) (Myxosporea: Multivalvulida)(1997) Shaw, Ross; Hervio, Dominique M. L. ; Devlin, Robert H.; Adamson, Martin L.The myxosporean parasite Kudoa thyrsites is reported from a new host, Aulorhynchus flavidus, the tube-snout, collected near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Prevalence reached 100% and intensity 1,535 pseudocysts per 2 cm length of fish. Polymerase chain reaction primers specific for K. thyrsites amplified a fragment of the small subunit rDNA and confirmed identification. These primers also allowed detection of K. thyrsites in young (<4-mo-old) fish with no other apparent sign of infection. No inflammatory response or liquefaction of host tissue was associated with the infection. The number of pseudocysts per infected fish was not correlated with fish size or condition, although larger fish (total length) had larger pseudocysts (rs = 0.437, P < 0.001). This finding brings to 28 the number of potential hosts for the species. Kudoa thyrsites is a well recognized cause of soft flesh in netpen-reared Atlantic salmon in coastal waters of British Columbia. Tube-snouts are common in and around these netpens, and thus may be a significant host reservoir for K. thyrsites.
- ItemInteraction design and educational video games: motivating undergraduate students to explore new territories(2019) Sperano, Isabelle; Andruchow, Robert; Shaw, RossCan interaction design students design a game that is educational and fun to play? In which areas could undergraduate interaction design students be involved when designing an educational video game? What unique learning experiences could be acquired by designing an educational video game? What are some challenges for the integration of educational game design in design education? To answer these questions, we partnered with a Biological Sciences professor interested in developing a video game for undergraduate biology students. We thought this could be both an interesting interaction design problem to tackle and an engaging pedagogical experiment. To do so, we hired undergraduate interaction design and computing science students to work with us on the concept and then on the development of a video game prototype.
- ItemIs Montipora dilatata an endangered coral species or an ecotype? Genes and skeletal microstructure lump seven Hawaiian species into four groups(2010) Forsman, Z. H.; Concepcion, G. T.; Haverkort, R. D.; Shaw, Ross; Maragos, J. E.; Toonen, R. J.Montipora dilatata is considered to be one of the rarest corals known. Thought to be endemic to Hawaii, only a few colonies have ever been found despite extensive surveys. Endangered species status would have major conservation implications; however, coral species boundaries are poorly understood. In order to examine genetic and morphological variation in Hawaiian Montipora, a suite of molecular markers (mitochondrial: COI, CR, Cyt-B, 16S, ATP6; nuclear: ATPsβ, ITS), in addition to a suite of measurements on skeletal microstructure, were examined. The ITS region and mitochondrial markers revealed four distinct clades: I) M. patula/M. verilli, II) M. incrassata, III) M. capitata, IV) M. dilatata/M. flabellata/M. turgescens. The nuclear ATPsβ intron tree had several exceptions that are generally interpreted as resulting from recent hybridization between clades or incomplete lineage sorting. Since the multicopy nuclear ITS region was concordant with the mitochondrial data, incomplete lineage sorting of the ATPsβ intron is a more likely explanation. Principal components analysis (PCA) of microstructure measurements agreed with the genetic clades rather than the nominal taxa. These species groups therefore either represent recent or insipient (CA <1MYA) species or morphological variants of the same biological species. These clades are likely to occur outside of Hawaii according to mitochondrial control region haplotypes from previous studies. Common garden experiments were conducted on distinct morphotypes of M. capitata to test the hypothesis that micro-skeletal traits can be phenotypically plastic in this genus. Although the experiment suffered high mortality from parasitic flatworms, verrucae (rice-grain sized bumps) were documented to form on formerly smooth colonies, indicating plasticity. This study contributes towards understanding the relationship between genetic and morphological variation in this taxonomically challenging group, which is essential for effective conservation and the key to understanding the evolution and biodiversity of reef building corals.
- ItemPopulation analysis of Carcharodon carcharias in localized areas surrounding South Africa using semi-automated dorsal fin identification(2021) Flathers, Erin; Shaw, Ross; Andreotti, SaraThe great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) is a marine apex predator with a global distribution. In recent years, the number of white sharks has drastically declined as a consequence of anthropogenic activities such as illegal/targeted fishing, bycatch, and habitat disruption. Until recently, research on sharks has been lacking, resulting in an information gap on shark populations. This study aims to analyze the current population distribution of white sharks in the wild, to fill the research gap on white shark data, and to use this information to inform policies makers for improvements in white shark conservation measures. White shark population distribution between Gansbaai and Mossel Bay, South Africa, were estimated using semi-automated and manual dorsal fin identification techniques. Dorsal fin photos from Mossel Bay were organized into a both a coded database, and an edge pattern database, then matched to a pre-existing Gansbaai database to identify population dynamics between the two sites. The anticipated outcome of this study is an indication of the population dispersal along the South African coastline, to promote knowledge based improvement of existing marine conservation and fishing management strategies.
- ItemRecovery ability of thermally stressed captive Coral Anthelia spp., as measured by dinoflagellate density(2022) Dunbar, Dana; Shaw, RossWarming ocean temperatures are leading to an increase in coral bleaching events. These rising temperatures are fatal to coral species as they disrupt the symbiotic relationship between corals and dinoflagellates. Among other factors, thermal stress results in dinoflagellate damage and the loss of these symbionts. The recovery ability of corals exposed to this stress is a small area of research within the larger body of coral conservation. This study aims to add to that field by examining how soft corals, specifically Anthelia spp., react to thermal stresses. Over a nine- week period, 4 different experimental tanks will be raised from 28o to 32oC before returning to 28C to observe recovery potential. Dinoflagellate density was examined twice per week using a maceration method on tissue samples, viewed under a compound microscope. These densities were used as an indication of coral health and successful recovery. Expanding the knowledge of the recovery ability of soft corals is imperative to continuing the existence of these species.
- ItemToxic heavy metal removal (of arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury) by marine phytoplankton(2017) Andruchow, Daniel; Shaw, RossTwo species of marine phytoplankton, Tetraselmis sp. and Nannochloropsis sp., were grown for six days in 1 ppm solutions of As, Cd, Hg, and Pb, as four individual metal samples and as a four-metal mixture. Tetraselmis sp. cell density was lowest in the four-metal mixture, at 2.385 x 106 cells/mL, indicating growth was partially inhibited by these metals. Nannochloropsis sp. showed a higher overall growth rate, and exhibited the cell density in this combined metal sample at 9.03 x 106 cells/mL. Heavy metal concentrations were analyzed via ICP-OES. Nannochloropsis sp. exhibited the highest biosorption of As, followed by Pb, at concentrations of 18.555 mg/kg and 12.165 mg/kg, respectively. In the four-metal mixture, Nannochloropsis sp. had decreased levels of As and Pb sequestered by cells, implying there was preferential uptake. Levels of Cd were low in the cells of each species. Tetraselmis sp. showed most effective biosorption of Pb, at a concentration of 10.825 mg/kg, and 11.36 mg/kg in the mixed metal samples, but showed unreliable results for other metals samples. Concentrations for Hg were not determined due to machine error. The data suggested that Nannochloropsis sp. is a better phycoremediation candidate for these metals; however, a more comprehensive follow-up study is needed to confirm this assertion.
- ItemUser testing for serious game design: improving the player experience(2022) Shaw, Ross; Sperano, Isabelle; Andruchow, Robert; Cobzas, DanaThis case study reflects on our use of user testing during a research project in which we designed a serious video game, “Life on the Edge.” The target audience of the game is first-year post-secondary biology students. As we designed the game, user testing was a critical component that allowed us to identify issues. Any issues that interfere with the flow or enjoyment of a video game can be distracting to players. In what follows, we will describe the research design and discuss the processes for testing a serious video game that will allow you to identify game issues successfully. How you recruit participants, test players, and prioritize player feedback is a component of effective user testing and improving your game. With user testing, we were able to identify problems in the game, prioritize them, and address them. By using variable user testing methods, you can adapt to the changing needs of your game project and develop a successful serious video game.