It's Oct. 21, which means it's National Reptile Awareness day — an occasion to highlight research, educate people and promote conservation of these cold-blooded creatures. While some people might shy away from – or even fear – animals like snakes and alligators, Florida Atlantic University (FAU) alumna, Amanda Hipps, uses her reptile research to inspire others to appreciate them as much as she does.
It took scientists in Japan more than 50 years to successfully spawn eels in captivity to help preserve the species. In a race to solve a major challenge for conservation aquaculture, a breakthrough by researchers at FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in collaboration with Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT) is the first in the world to successfully spawn bonefish in captivity – in just four years. Building upon the lessons learned by their scientific colleagues in Japan, FAU Harbor Branch scientists have figured out the life cycle of bonefish in captivity to help inform management and conservation of this revered fishery for the multi-billion dollar sports fishing industry.
Researchers from FAU's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, in collaboration with Utrecht University, Netherlands, the University of Amsterdam, and The Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), examined cell abundances, size, cellular carbon mass, and how photosynthetic cells differ on polymeric and glass substrates over time. They investigated nanoparticle generation from plastic such as polystyrene, which is known to disintegrate into nanoparticles in sunlight and ultraviolet radiation, and how this might disrupt microalgae.