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Impacts of climate change on fish: Insights from Damselfish and Zebrafish Studies

24 Nov 2023 - Ana Carolina Luchiari, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte | 15h30 | ONLINE
Impacts of climate change on fish: Insights from Damselfish and Zebrafish Studies

Climate change poses a formidable challenge to ectothermic animals, especially those residing near their thermal limits. While numerous studies have delved into aspects such as aggression, sociability, and breeding behavior, the warming climate poses a direct threat to survival by introducing challenges to cognitive functions. Surprisingly, cognition remains a relatively scarce area of study in this context. Cognition, encompassing the faculties of information perception, attention, focus, decision-making, learning, and memory, plays a crucial role in an organism's survival. The profound impact of warming on cognition cannot be understated. In our investigation with damselfish, we scrutinized the repercussions of elevated temperatures on both cognition and behavior. Through assessments of learning performance, we unveiled substantial deficits. Furthermore, our modeling endeavors with zebrafish underscored the enduring effects of temperature on the brain, persisting long after the immediate encounter with a heatwave. This research topic sheds light on the far-reaching consequences of climate change on cognitive processes in aquatic species.

Ana Carolina Luchiari, a biologist with a keen focus on fish behavior and cognition, holds a doctorate in Biological Sciences from UNESP, Brazil, and has expanded her expertise through a postdoctoral program at the University of Toronto. Currently, Ana Luchiari is immersed in the exploration of the behavior and physiology of zebrafish and damselfish, delving into the impact of emergent pollutants and warming on these aquatic species. Damselfish, pivotal to reef ecosystems, and zebrafish, renowned as a model for various species, serve as crucial subjects in her research. Understanding the effects of anthropogenic impacts on the cognitive faculties of these species is instrumental in advancing conservation and mitigation strategies.

[Host: Marta Soares, Animal Sociality - SOCIALITY]

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