Fish Swimming Graduate course- Summer 2015

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mare-mundi Redaktion
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Fish Swimming Graduate course- Summer 2015

Beitrag von mare-mundi Redaktion » 15 Nov 2014 11:12

Fish Swimming:
Kinematics, ecomorphology, behavior, and environmental physiology

FHL/FISH 528 B, 9 credits)
Summer Term B: July 21 - Friday, Aug. 22 (5 weeks)
Monday-Saturday (Mon-Fri 8:30 am - 5 pm, plus Sat morning 8:30 am-noon, except final week no Saturday meeting)
Students arrive Sunday, June 16 after 3:00 p.m., depart Friday, July 18 after lunch.

Dr. Paolo Domenici
IAMC- CNR Organismal Biology Lab
Oristano, Italy
paolo.domenici at

Dr. John F. Steffensen
University of Copenhagen
Marine Biological Laboratory
Helsingor, Denmark
JFSteffensen at

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Fish swimming is a multidisciplinary area of research that encompasses biomechanics, physiology, evolution, ecology and behavior. Knowledge of fish swimming is relevant both for students interested in mechanisms of locomotion, and those interested in locomotor adaptations to the environment. The course will reflect the multidisciplinary nature of fish swimming. The main subjects treated in the course will be: (1) the kinematics and performance of swimming in fish using various locomotory modes, (2) the ecomorphology of fish locomotion, (3) locomotor strategies, (4) metabolic aspects of fish swimming, (5) the effect of various environmental factors on fish swimming.

Specific lectures will be given on the following topics: Introduction to local fish fauna, introduction to fish hydrodynamics, fish swimming kinematics and biomechanics (steady and unsteady), fish swimming performance (steady and unsteady), scaling of swimming performance, predator-prey encounters, fish functional morphology and swimming, behavioral lateralization in fish swimming, schooling behavior, respiratory physiology, principle of respirometry, ecophysiology of fish swimming, metabolism and exercise physiology, the effect of environmental factors on fish swimming, video analysis techniques, kinematic analysis, circular statistics, and respirometry techniques.

These topics will be treated in lectures and laboratory/field sessions. Students will learn laboratory techniques of video analysis, kinematics, energetics and respirometry. The first half of the course will have an emphasis on lectures and explanations of techniques for studying fish swimming in the laboratory and in the field. In the second half of the course, emphasis will be placed on laboratory and field work. Students will pursue independent research projects. These will be discussed between each student and the instructors. Based on past experience from previous courses taught at FHL, a number of projects will be proposed and rated in terms of their feasibility, their originality and scientific interest. Original projects on fish locomotion, based on the student’s personal background and interest, will also be welcomed. Regular morning meetings will be held in order to discuss various issues such clarifying lecture material, planning logistic matters (fishing, sharing equipment), defining/assigning and updating each project. At the end of the course, students are expected to present the results of their independent projects orally and as a written report in the format of a scientific paper.

The instructors who have designed the course have extensive experience in fish swimming research and teaching. They cover the proposed topics very well. They are internationally-known researchers in the field of fish swimming, and are complementary in terms of expertise. Paolo Domenici is an expert in fish swimming kinematics and behavior, John Steffensen is an expert in fish swimming physiology and energetics. In addition, they taught this course together at FHL in 2002, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013, and they collaborate extensively since 1994. The course proposed has been successful in previous year, as testified by the number of conference presentations (>35) and scientific papers published, in press or in preparation (>15) by the students as a result of their research carried out during the course.
Enrollment is limited to 15 students.


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