Biology Seminar: On the importance of studying differences in the fatty acid composition of aquatic organisms: A comprehensive meta-analysis and a real practical example.

Friday, November 8, 2019 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm EST (GMT -05:00)

Presented by:
Camilla Parzanini
Research Fellow, Department of Chemistry and Biology, Ryerson University

With my research, I aim to shed some light on diet and trophic relationships of aquatic organisms, from shallow water systems to the very deep ocean! To do so, I have been applying multiple techniques, including gut content analysis and biochemical markers, for a multifaceted and integrated approach. As part of my current position, I am using fatty biomarkers specifically to study how the dietary exposure to microplastics affects the feeding relationships of some key fish species of Lake Ontario; and to infer new insights into the trophic ecology of the endangered European eel (Anguilla anguilla). I have also been collecting fatty acid data from the peer-reviewed literature, with the main goal to detect large-scale trends in the fatty acid composition of freshwater vs marine organisms. In this seminar, I will present some preliminary results from this meta-analysis, together with those from the European eel-project, as a case study. Overall, not only will my research provide new insights into the trophic ecology field, but it will also provide some basic information that may help support conservation and management initiatives.