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Department of Fisheries Oceanography Seminar Announcement-Dr. Christopher Murray

When: Wednesday, April 26, 2023
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Where: > See description for location
Description: The School for Marine Science and Technology
Department of Fisheries Oceanography
Seminar Announcement

“The Ecophysiology of Forage Fishes Under Emergent Climate Stressors”

Dr. Christopher Murray
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Wednesday, April 26, 2023
2:30 pm to 3:30 pm
SMAST East 101/102
And via Zoom

Abstract: Forage fishes are critical components of most coastal marine food webs and understanding their vulnerability to emergent climate stressors is central to predicting ecosystem resilience more broadly. For example, Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) reproduce in shallow nearshore habitats throughout Pacific Northwest where their embryos and larvae are routinely exposed to coastal acidification events and severe marine heatwaves. In a recent series of studies, we comprehensively evaluated the thermal plasticity of herring embryos under the combined effects of acidification and extreme temperature variability. In some cases, long-term exposure to elevated CO2 elicits a chronic stress response in fish that could increase susceptibility to disease. In a collaboration with the Western Fisheries Research Center, we investigated the chronic effects of acidification on the immune response of juvenile herring infected with a pathogenic virus. On the northwest Atlantic shelf, the Northern sand lance (Ammodytes dubius) ranks among the most important forage fish species. Intensive experimental work by our group has conclusively demonstrated that sand lance embryos are exceptionally vulnerable to acidification through a novel mechanism of CO2-induced mortality. The rapid onset of ocean acidification in the Northwest Atlantic will likely impact the reproductive viability of this key species by the end of this century absent rapid adaptation.

Bio: Dr. Murray is an integrative fish biologist who combines laboratory studies with field-based observations to better understand the processes that mediate phenotypic plasticity and flexibility under emerging climate stressors. His work primarily focuses on fish early life stages, which constitute a ‘critical window’ of sensitivity to environmental stress. Chris conducted his dissertation research at the University of Connecticut’s Department of Marine Sciences before moving to the Pacific Northwest where he worked as a research associate with the Washington Ocean Acidification Center and the University of Washington. Currently, Chris is an NSF postdoctoral investigator at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where he is studying the multigenerational impacts of coastal hypoxia and acidification in a coastal forge fish.
Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 937 5823 0260
Passcode: 426839

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Topical Areas: SMAST Seminar Series, School for Marine Sciences and Technology