Biological & Geological Sciences 3034
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Research in my lab focuses on the physiological response of muscle to intense exercise, as a model to understanding metabolic regulation and potential limitations to swimming performance in fish. The model system of choice is the rainbow trout, because it is capable of high, intensity swimming, powered white, or fast-twitch, glycolytic fibers. Trout have a large amount of these fibers; 40-50% of their body mass is white muscle. Which is one of the reasons this fish is such a popular sport fish; it puts up a good fight!
We are also interested in whether or not the muscle physiology model being developed for salmonids, which are active, carnivorous fish is applicable to equally active, but herbivorous fish. We are using grass carp as a model herbivore. Like rainbow trout, it is capable of fairly impressive sprint activity. Also like rainbow trout, it is raised commercially and relatively easy to obtain and hold (at least in theory!).