If you'll be at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting in Tampa this year, keep your eye out for some work that will be presented from our lab.
Undergraduate Hailey has been examining a new angle on feeding kinematics in guppies, asking whether some populations show individual specialization for feeding. This work started as a summer project but Hailey has continued to pull together additional data. Her poster will examine within-individual variation in 5 individuals each across 2 replicate high and low predation populations (that's a lot of digitizing!). She's finding some interesting patterns, but they are a lot messier than we expected. You'll have to chat with her at her poster on Saturday to find out why.
Saturday Jan 5
Poster P2-168 Hailey Phillips (undergraduate) - Do Generalists Specialize? Potential for Individual Variation in Trinidadian Guppy Feeding Kinematics
We also started some projects with local bluegill over the summer and undergraduate Lacy and graduate student Hannah have been collaborating on a 2-part project to examine how changes in swimming performance affect other behaviors such as feeding. The project started with an interest in comparing potentially divergent local populations, but it turns out that bluegill are hard to catch during wet summers when they can spread out and the electrofisher is less effective. We only ended up with a single population of fish from the local hatchery. These fish were caught with a monofilament cast net that tore their fins, but since they were the only fish we had, we used them anyway.
By the end of the summer we realized the original plan wasn't going to work. Since we had data from hatchery bluegill with "damaged" fins, we realized this set up a nice opportunity to examine the effects of this damage. We went back to the hatchery and electrofished a set of "healthy" fish to compare the damaged fish to. Lacy has been quantifying metabolic rate using our swim tunnel while Hannah has been filming these fish to examine feeding performance. While this was not the project we originally intended, it is showing some promising and interesting results. Again you'll have to talk to Lacy and Hannah at their posters on Sunday to learn more about how.
Sunday January 6
Poster P3-32 Hannah Cohen (Graduate student) - Damaged Goods: Do Injuries Affect Swimming Performance During Prey Capture in Bluegill?
Poster P3-33 Lacy Allred (Undergraduate) - Comparison of Swimming Energetics Between Damaged and Healthy Bluegill Sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus)
Over the last year, I have been co-organizing a symposium with Stacy Farina and Patricia Hernandez on how parts of an animal work together. We have coordinated what I expect to be a fantastic group of speakers, so check out all of these talks, as well as those in our complimentary session. The final slot of our symposium session will be used to host a panel discussion on these topics, to allow the SICB audience a chance to interact with some of our speakers and be a part of the discussion about where these ideas may lead.
As my contribution to this discussion, I wanted to challenge myself to think beyond where I started with the idea of integration between locomotion and feeding during prey capture - in suction feeding fishes. In collaboration with Hannah, my first Master's student, and Chris Marshall, my own Master's advisor, we will be examining the links between body and mouth movements in three case studies: 1) guppies using suction and biting, 2) mudskippers feeding on land and in the water, and 3) secondarily aquatic marine mammals using suction. We will use these examples to describe broad hypotheses of integration that can be tested across a range of situations and taxa.
Sunday January 6
Symposium talk S8-10 2-2:30pm Emily Kane (Principal investigator) - Beyond Suction-Feeding Fishes: Diverse Strategies for Integrating Functional Systems During Prey Capture in Vertebrates