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Fish Finds

altSLUG REPORT > Pew grant awarded to Santa Cruz’s Stephan Munch

This year, the Pew Environment Group awarded the 2012 PEW Fellowship grant to six marine science specialists working in the field of environmental research. Stephan Munch, Ph.D, one of the six recipients of the award, is a faculty researcher at UC Santa Cruz and a fisheries ecologist at the National Marine Fisheries Agency, which is located near Natural Bridges.

Munch was awarded the fellowship for his work on a project that will create tools that will identify climate-driven changes in fisheries demographics. He and two colleagues, UCSC professor Marc Mengal and Santiago Salinas, Ph.D., a graduate student from Stony Brook University in New York, have gathered data on lifespan and cross-generational evolutionary changes from two different species of fish—the Damsel fish from the Atlantic Ocean, and the Australian Damsel fish from the Pacific Ocean—that indicate that these species of fish are able to rapidly evolve in order to adapt to different temperatures and climates.

Their work has indicated that in the presence of hotter temperatures, these species of fish produce offspring that have the necessary physical traits needed to survive longer in hotter climates, and vice versa for fish raised in colder temperatures. Specifically, the offspring of these fish have displayed an ability to mature at a much earlier age, which Munch and his team attribute as an evolutionary response to fishing.

The Pew Fellowship grant will fund Munch’s project for the next three years by allotting him $50,000 each year. Stephan has indicated that this funding will be put toward testing other species of fish and gathering those sets of data. He is hoping to hire an assistant who will help with building a new database, as well as another staffer who will help design a web-based program that will predict what species of fish will look like 50 years from now

This has positive implications for California fisheries, which with the help of further research into other fish species would be able to more accurately forecast fish population demographics. Munch’s work could also make big strides in the study of thermal genealogy, specifically in the field of epigenetics, a newer field of research into how species inherit survival characteristics as a result of climate changes.

“What this research has basically told us,” Munch jokingly explained to GT, “is that LaMarck was wrong: Giraffes don’t get bigger necks by stretching.”
    
 

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written by Christine Seifert, March 19, 2012
Awesome work and awesome smile ...thanks for your contribution to the planet ...are you single ? Love to meet you ...Christine

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Heart Me Up

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Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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