Mentor & Lab: Allyson Sawkins, Bernardi Lab

Positions: 2 interns

Tentative dates: June 17-July 26th (6 weeks)

Project Location: Doyle Building (on Coastal Campus)

Project Background: For ectotherms, temperature is considered to be one of the most important and physiologically influential environmental stimuli. This is because, unlike homeotherms, which maintain a stable metabolic rate across a range of temperatures, ectothermic species have metabolic rates which scale with temperature. The ambient temperature therefore governs the rate of their biochemical reactions, metabolic rates, and ultimately the distribution of the species. The goal of this project is to investigate how populations experiencing different thermal conditions locally adapt to their environments. We will carry out a comparative thermal performance analysis on two populations of a disjunct species, the longjaw mudsucker (G. mirabilis), comparing individuals from the Sea of Cortez and Central California.

Intern duties: To generate the thermal performance curves, we will use an intermittent respirometry system produced by Loligo Systems to measure the metabolic rate of individuals at various temperatures. Interns will be responsible for fish husbandry (daily check-ins, feeding, weighing) and operating the Loligo systems intermittent respirometry system and software under my guidance.

Intern qualifications: Because the fish will need daily check-ins including weekends, I’m looking for interns who have a flexible schedule. Also, it would be great to be comfortable handling live fish and comfortable with mildly-strenuous activity such as lifting approximately 25lb and cleaning tanks. The rest (e.g., operating respirometry instruments, software) can be learned!

Do you recommend the intern(s) volunteer in your lab during Spring quarter? Yes, if possible that would be super great!