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Probe Icefish Tolerance

Amanda Biederman

Graduate Student Amanda Biederman at Palmer Station (Antarctica)

Going ‘Fishing’ for Specimens in Antarctica

Graduate student Amanda Biederman '16, alumna Elizabeth Evans, and Dr. Lisa Crockett spent April through June 2015 at Antarctica’s Palmer Station, where they studied the dominant fishes of the area and physiological and biochemical processes that limit their capacity to tolerate a warming climate.

The research trip was an integral part of Biederman’s doctoral research. Crockett, Professor of Biological Sciences at Ohio University, serves as Biederman’s dissertation adviser.

The team is studying three species of icefishes:

  • C. aceratus (the blackfin icefish)
  • P. georgianus (the South Georgia icefish)
  • C. rastrospinosus (the ocellated icefish).

They are also studying N. coriiceps (the black rock cod), a red-blooded species (i.e. "normal") from the same suborder (Notothenioidei).

Icefishes are extremely unusual animals. They represent the only adult vertebrate animals lacking the oxygen carrier hemoglobin, which is the pigment that makes the blood of all other vertebrates red. As a result the icefishes have white blood, and they can only circulate about 10 percent of the oxygen that their red-blooded Antarctic relatives can.

Read “Biology Student Goes 'Fishing' in Antarctica, Tin Can to the Rescue.”

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