Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Oct 25th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

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.”
    
 

Comments (1)Add Comment
...
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

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Santa Cruz Restaurant Week

A huge part of Santa Cruz Restaurant Week has always been about offering a great dining experience for an affordable price. For some locals, the $25 flat-rate cost has provided the opportunity (or the excuse!) to try new spots, and indulge in Santa Cruz fine dining in a way they might have thought too pricey before.

 

Scorpio Sun, New Moon Eclipse, Mercury Direct

The Sun enters Scorpio’s mysteries Thursday under a new moon and partial solar eclipse (something essential has come to an end, its purpose completed). In Scorpio we harbor secrets, are devoted to something deep, dark and hidden. Sometimes it’s ourselves. We can bring great suspect to our assessment of others. Scorpio is the scorpion, the serpent and the eagle—three levels of development. As the serpent we take shelter in our beliefs. Sometimes we bite (or sting). The eagle vanquishes old beliefs through its sharp intellect, soaring high in the air, seeking to understand through perspective. Understanding releases us from the bondage of fear. The eagle is like the mother soothing feelings of mistrust, offering protection. Knowledge does this, too.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Light Humor

College comedy questions a post-racial America in ‘Dear White People’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Back Porch

Austin Kaye on backyard dinners and why it’s his favorite time of year to be a chef

 

What’s the most outrageous situation you ever saw at a restaurant?

Damani Thomas, Santa Cruz, Chef/Owner

 

Wine Lust

The Spanish Godello grape, plus arancinis, tender butter lettuce and pork schnitzel at Soif

 

What artist or artists participating in the encore weekend of Open Studios should not be missed?

Santa Cruz | Teacher