#ScanAllStars: Scientists at the UW Labs Scan Sea Stars

Posted February 4, 2019 at 5:35 am by

CT scan of 9 different species of sea stars from the San Juan Islands, WA. - Contributed photo

Mo Turn­er, Ph.D. can­di­date in Biol­o­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wash­ing­ton and Cas­san­dra Donatel­li Ph.D. can­di­date at Tufts Uni­ver­si­ty are col­lab­o­rat­ing scan­ning sea stars. In Jan­u­ary they pre­sent­ed their pre­lim­i­nary find­ings to the Soci­ety of Inte­gra­tive and Com­par­a­tive Biol­o­gy. The fol­low­ing by Mo Turn­er, with Cas­san­dra Donatel­li is excerpt­ed from February’s Tide Bite, the newslet­ter of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wash­ing­ton Fri­day Har­bor Laboratories.

Cassandra Donatelli and Mo Turner present findings - Contributed photo

For Cas­san­dra and I, this col­lab­o­ra­tion was born almost by acci­dent.  I have been study­ing the ecol­o­gy of sea stars for sev­er­al years in the Pacif­ic North­west, from observ­ing pop­u­la­tion dynam­ics of stars dur­ing the onset of Sea Star Wast­ing Dis­ease (SSWD) to study­ing the diet and feed­ing behav­ior of our icon­ic pur­ple and orange inter­tidal ochre star, Pisas­ter ochraceus.  Cas­san­dra has been doing research at FHL with the Sum­mers Lab for sev­er­al years, look­ing at the mor­phol­o­gy of anguil­li­form (eel-like) fish­es and how they swim.  This involves spend­ing much of her time in the back rooms of Lab 8 run­ning the micro-CT scan­ner (Fig­ure 1) to look at 3D ren­der­ings of the skele­tal struc­tures of her fish. For­tu­nate­ly, the Karel F Liem Fish Biol­o­gy Endow­ment sup­ports run­ning the machine at no costs to the sci­en­tists using it, which led to Cas­san­dra offer­ing to scan one of my “bugs” (as she calls just about any crit­ter that’s not a fish).” 

To read the entire arti­cle link to… Tide Bite

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Categories: Science, Wildlife

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