FHL 528 | Summer B 2019

Fish Swimming: Kinematics, Ecomorphology, Behavior and Environmental Physiology 2019

Credits: 9

Instructor(s): Dr. Paolo Domenici , Dr. John F. Steffensen

Prerequisites: This course is suitable for graduate students and upper-level undergraduates, as well as young researchers and postdocs interested in learning about fish swimming.

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 behaviour, 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, 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 (in groups of 2-3 students). 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.

Instructors for this course are:

Enrollment is limited to 15 students. No textbook is required for this course.

Note: Student transcripts from University of Washington will list “FHL 528: Advanced Topics in Fish Biology”

Here is a link to a list of publications that have come out of students’ projects carried out during the course in previous years.