A cardiac response is a simple yet powerful measurement that breaches the gap between human and nature – perfect to capture and direct the attention of the public and scientific community to anthropogenic impacts by enabling susceptible organisms to “tell it from the heart.”
Heart gives a voice: Since June 2015 I have provided the first measurements of immediate physiological responses to coupled stressors with a high resolution. Cardiac activity continuously measured in field and laboratory experiments with non-invasive sensors is a novel and necessary approach that will provide a foundation for the future of ecophysiology.
W h y H e a r t R a t e ?
Motivation: We now understand how physiochemical and biological stressors such as hypoxia, ocean acidification, harmful algae, ect co-occur in nature, but the immediate additive, synergistic, or antagonistic sub-lethal effects to susceptible marine organisms is unknown. Experiments focused on effects of multiple stressors typically integrates over long-term periods and neglects identification of dynamic organism responses in real-time. Ecophysiology needs innovation to measure physiological parameters at a high enough resolution to mirror water quality instrumentation and breach this gap in our knowledge.
The environment: Estuaries – in see these bodies of water as a laboratory; the combination of high economical importance and human impacts from teeming coastal populations writes the perfect recipe for ecological study and public outreach to promote restoration and conservation of vital goods and services.