Wyeth lab alumn Kieran Murphy has just published his first two peer-reviewed articles. The first documents his (massive) efforts during his MSc to survey both abundances of the invasive vase tunicate Ciona intestinalis and potentially corresponding environmental conditions. His goal was to test whether temperature, salinity, etc. could explain variations in the abundances of this species around Nova Scotia. The result? No clear links between abiotic conditions and population growth patterns, which has implications for predicting and managing the spread of this nuisance species. The second is an exciting new collaboration that developed as an offshoot from his MSc. Ping Ni from Aibin Zhan‘s group used Ciona collected by Kieran and his temperature data to discover temperature-linked epigenetic changes in an invasive species. Congrats to Kieran and Ping!
Murphy, K.J., Sephton, D., Klein, K., Bishop, C.D., and Wyeth, R.C. 2019. Abiotic conditions are not sufficient to predict spatial and interannual variation in abundance of Ciona intestinalis in Nova Scotia, Canada. Marine Ecology Progress Series 628: 105–123. doi:10.3354/meps13076.
Ni, P., Murphy, K.J., Wyeth, R.C., Bishop, C.D., Li, S., and Zhan, A. 2019. Significant population methylation divergence and local environmental influence in an invasive ascidian Ciona intestinalis at fine geographical scales. Mar Biol 166(11): 143. doi:10.1007/s00227-019-3592-3.