Physical-Biological Interactions - Paris' Lab

Larval Fish Navigation

NSF-OTIC “Collaborative Research: T-LEOST (realTime-Larval Environment and Ocean Signal Tracking): An Integrated System for the Study of Navigational Cues in the Marine Environment ”

While there has been a wealth of research in the field of animal navigation, marine larvae has been largely overlooked. We are developing innovative in situ methods to observe orientation in fish larvae and the related cues. The current challenge in the study of larval fish navigation is to sample signals as they are perceived by fish larvae in the pelagic environment. To meet this challenge, the PIs plan to build upon novel bio-acoustic technology and proof of concept methods for monitoring larval behavior in situ, the DISC (Drifting In Situ Chamber, invented by C.B. Paris) to develop an integrated realTime Larval Environment and Ocean Signal Tracking system.

The proposed research will supply important pieces of the pelagic orientation puzzle, that will lead to a better understanding of larval dispersal and population connectivity, and an improved ability to model them. The project will also serve as an observing system platform that will be vital in understanding larval use of a full suite of sensory cues, such as polarized light, electroreception of water movement, and other (magnetic, thermal). One of the over-arching benefits of our proposed system is the capacity to provide existing ocean observing systems with recording of environmental signals meaningful to the successful recruitment of benthic species.

The project's broader impact lies in its potential to contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the mechanisms underlying dispersal in marine organisms. The project will generate an educational video broadcasted in public forums, and serve to mentor high-school and college students.