I began working on mummichogs in 2002 as part of an NSF grant with Dr. Robert Preston from Illinois State University and Dr. George Kidder from Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory. My main work on the project was investigating the reproductive biology of this species, and over two summers we found that fish spawning daily in the intertidal just as the high tide turned and was going out. This differed from reports in other parts of this species range, and we hypothesized on what factors may have led to this diference in reproductive behavior. This grant work has so far resulted in three major publications, and a slew of research reports in the MDIBL Bulletin, which you can find on my research page. The major papers:
51. Petersen, C.W., S. Salinas*, R. L. Preston, and G.W. Kidder III. 2010. Spawning periodicity and reproductive behavior of Fundulus heteroclitus in a New England salt marsh. Copeia 2010:203-210 (pdf)
44. Kidder, G.W III., C.W. Petersen & R.L. Preston. 2006. Energetics of Osmoregulation: II. Water Flux and Osmoregulatory Work in the Euryhaline Fish, Fundulus heteroclitus. Journal of Experimental Zoology. 305A:318-327. (pdf)
43. Kidder, G.W III., C.W. Petersen & R.L. Preston. 2006. Energetics of Osmoregulation: I. Oxygen consumption by Fundulus heteroclitus. Journal of Experimental Zoology. 305A:309-317. (pdf)
I still have one major paper to finish on this work based on experiments that examined differences in egg survivorship between the two main intertidal habitats (gravel and grass/mud) and different intertidal heights. Since that time I have worked on three projects:
a. I have done some follow up on the results from the 2010 Copeia paper, and preliminary work by student Dale Quinby shows that upstream the timing of spawning changes and becomes more semi-lunar.
b. I have also become involved in mummichog population genetics work with Dr. Charles Wray. We have microsatellite data from approximately 12 different estuaries, including a superfund site, the contaminated Goose Cove in Brooksville, location of the Callahan Mine.
c. I have started to examine differences in parasite load and metal tolerance of fish in the mine site compared with other sites that lack this degree of contamination. I hope to look at gene expression in these fishes in response to heavy-metal exposure.