The department has teaching and research interests in many aspects of Biology from the cellular and molecular level to organismal to global ecological and conservation issues

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fish Disease in the Chesapeake Bay

DAVID GAUTHIER, assistant professor of Biological Sciences recently received funding from NOAA (Chesapeake Bay Office) and Virginia Sea Grant, through Virginia Institute of Marine Science, for his study “Quantifying the interactive effects of hypoxia, temperature, and mycobacteriosis on striped bass (Morone saxatilis) ; their impact on the energetics and ecology of these fish."

Dr Gauthier is working as part of a collaborative team with faculty at VIMS (Richard Brill, Mary Fabrizio, Wolfgang Vogelbein, Dominique Lapointe) to study the synergistic effects of hypoxia, temperature, and mycobacteriosis on the physiology of striped bass.  Hypoxic "dead zones" occupying Chesapeake Bay through much of the summer are thought to be a potential stress factor leading to development of disease due to Mycobacterium spp. in Chesapeake Bay striped bass, and disease, in turn, may exacerbate physiological stress due to hypoxia or increased temperatures.  With this funding they will be studying the physiological responses of striped bass to increased temperature and decreased dissolved oxygen, and will be examining how disease status affects these responses.  Work will be conducted at the state-of-the-art Seawater Research Laboratory at VIMS.  

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