Lela Schlenker holds a device used to outfit captured mahi-mahi with data-collecting tags. (Provided by RECOVER)

How Grad Student Schlenker “Sniffs Out” Oil’s Effects on Mahi-Mahi

Laboratory studies at the University of Miami suggest that exposure to Deepwater Horizon oil may have negatively affected heart function in mahi-mahi, reducing their ability to swim efficiently. Lela Schlenker is expanding that research to investigate if and how oil exposure alters the way mahi-mahi migrate and respond to predators and prey in the wild.

Study Finds UV Exposure Late in Mahi-Mahi Embryo Development Enhances Oil Toxicity

Researchers conducted laboratory experiments on mahi-mahi embryos to determine the effects of ultraviolet radiation (UV) and oil co-exposure during different times in their development. The team observed that UV affected the success of mahi-mahi hatch in all exposure scenarios compared to controls but was highest (a 1.6- to 6-fold increase) when co-exposure occurred late in embryonic development.

Scientists place satellite tags on mahi mahi to study their activity. Photo by RECOVER.

Smithsonian Highlights Oil Spill Research on Mahi Mahi

The Smithsonian recently published an article about research, funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI), that investigates oil spill impacts on different life stages of mahi mahi. Highlights include what is involved in conducting this cutting-edge research, what is being discovered about mahi mahi that is not oil-spill related, and the multiple scientific perspectives that help develop a comprehensive understanding of these important fish.

Grad Student Pasparakis Looks to Fish Embryos for Long-Term Oil Spill Answers

Studies that investigate the effects of oil exposure on developing fish are typically conducted at otherwise non-stressful ambient conditions, which may result in conservative impact estimates. Christina Pasparakis is studying the combined effects of oil exposure and other environmental stressors to create a more comprehensive assessment of Deepwater Horizon impacts.