News

Young Scientist Award for cold fish acclimation research


25 July 2013

Alex Little, PhD candidate with Frank Seebacher, has won the Young Scientist Award at the Society for Experimental Biology meeting in Spain this month.

Alex Little wins the Young Scientist Award from the Society for Experimental Biology
Alex Little wins the Young Scientist Award from the Society for Experimental Biology

Alex's presentation looked at how fish adjust their physiology to maintain performance during challenging thermal conditions. "Specifically, I found that thyroid hormone regulates aerobic metabolism, muscle function and cardiac performance in zebrafish to maintain locomotor performance during cold exposure," said Alex.

This significant finding is the first time that a central regulator of thermal acclimation has been identified in an ectotherm. "This work also provides new insights into the evolution of endothermy," explained Alex, "and how increasing levels of global pollution may compound the effects of climate change."

The Young Scientist Award is prestigious prize, open to postgraduate students and post-doctoral fellows. "The competition was a great way to showcase my work to top researchers, and potentially future collaborators, in the field."