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Lee A. Fuiman
Integrative Biology and Dept of Marine Science

Main Office:  MSP L217
Phone: (361) 749-6775

Mailing Address
University of Texas Marine Science Institute
750 Channel View Drive
Port Aransas ,Texas 78373

Lee A. Fuiman

Research Summary

The past few decades have seen the biology of fish larvae blossom into an exciting field of research. These tiny, usually transparent early life stages had been neglected because of the difficulties in collecting, identifying, and maintaining them. With many of these problems solved, research is directed toward understanding how processes affecting larval fishes have serious consequences for populations of adults. Survival of larvae is a prerequisite for sustained populations, and like adults, larvae must find food and avoid predators. However, unlike adults, they must do so while their abilities vary due to dramatic morphological, physiological, and behavioral changes caused by development.

Our research includes both laboratory and field experiments on the behavioral and sensory capabilities of fish larvae. Much of it involves frame-by-frame motion analysis of video taped experiments. This approach has led to important insights into the change in vulnerability of larvae to predators during early life. We combine the behavioral approach with detailed studies of changing sensory and locomotor morphology to understand how behavior may be constrained. We also study the effects of environmental variables (e.g., temperature and salinity) on a larva's capabilities. We incorporate field experiments to form ecological interpretations for the laboratory results. Our research has now expanded to include assessment of sublethal effects of pollutants and their ecological interpretation.



Bio Sci students