some example images by our researchers
Age Determination of the Sagittal otoliths of Pacific Ocean Perch (Sebastes alutus):
Otoliths are small bony structures that are found inside the skull of fish. They are composed of calcium carbonate, which is deposited as the fish grows. In long-lived fishes such as Sebastes alutus, an annual growth pattern can be seen as rings (annuli). Reabsorption of the calcareous material does not occur, so that the growth pattern is permanent and can be used to determine the age of a fish. These images are the Sagittal otoliths of Pacific Ocean Perch, Sebastes alutus. The age was determined using the otolith burnt cross section technique, which is a well validated technique for aging this species (MacLellan 1997).
Alison Edwards is a Masters student, working under the supervision of Dr Asit Mazumder in the water and watershed research programme at the University of Victoria ( www.uvic.ca/water ). Her research focuses on the processes involved in the bioaccumulation of heavy metals such as Mercury and Arsenic in Pacific Ocean Perch (Sebastes alutus) from the coast of British Columbia.
Measuring shape differences in Pacific treefrog tadpoles:
Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of organisms to change their morphology during development in response to environmental cues. For example, it has been shown in laboratory studies that tadpoles change the shape of their tail fins in response to predators. In our study we examined if we could detect this change in natural ponds with, and without, vertebrate predators. We caught Pacific treefrog (Hyla regilla) tadpoles in ponds around the Victoria area that varied in the presence of predators and in the density of tadpoles. We photographed the tadpoles using a NIKON Digital camera with micro-Nikkor 105mm lens. We used ImagePro 4.5 to obtain various linear measurements from the photographs. These will be adjusted for the size differences between tadpoles and then used to assess the difference in shape of tadpoles from different environments. This study contributes to the wider body of knowledge on how organisms are morphologically altered by evolutionary mechanisms in the natural world.
Purnima Govindarajulu is a doctoral student working in Dr. B. Anholt's lab.
Dr. B. Anholt: Population and
Community Consequences of Adaptive Variation in Behaviour. Odonata,
Amphibia, Ciliated Protozoans.
photo by Beatrixe Whittome
In vitro infection:
In vitro infection of the Western Hemlock Looper Nucleopolyhedrovirus (LafiNPV-W) in a cell line derived from the forest tent caterpillar, Malacosoma disstria. Malacosoma disstria cell line #108 (Md108) was cultured and transfected with genomic DNA from the Lambdina fiscellaria lugubrosa nucleopolyhedrovirus (LafiNPV-W). Cytopathic effects characteristic of a nucleopolyhedrosis virus infection were observed. Infectious media, containing LafiNPV-W virions, was used to inoculate fresh Md108 cells. A) Uninfected Md108 cells; B) Infected Md108 cells showing characteristic cytopathic effects of viral infection: polyhedron inclusion bodies (PIBs), hypertrophied nuclei, and rounded-up cells.
Dr. Levin's lab: Research involving the use of naturally occurring, insect-specific viruses (Baculoviruses) are on-going in the lab. At present, three different nucleopolyhedroviruses that infect forest defoliating insects, and that have potential usage as pest control agents, are being characterized genetically.
photo by Maia Tsurumi
Tube worm area calculations:
These are digital images of tube worm (Ridgeia piscesae) tubes. Tube worms were preserved in formalin after samples were processed and then laid out on a white board for photographing. The images were then imported into Optimas 5.0, which calculated the area of each tube.
Dr. Tunnicliffe's lab: Our lab works on the ecology and evolution of hydrothermal vents. Because our sampling techniques are not standardised to a set volume or area, we need some way to make our samples comparable. The approach we have adopted is to use the area of the tube worms collected in the sample. This gives us a good idea of the total surface area available to the organisms collected since most vent animals use the tube worm tubes as substrate, rather like the role trees serve for arthropods, mammals, and birds in a forest.
Lodgepole pine needle:
Optimas 3.14 was used to determine if anatomical differences occurred when three species of conifer needles were exposed to an enhanced dose of UV-B radiation. For part of her M.Sc. thesis, Patricia Krol embedded numerous needles in paraffin, sectioned them 8 microns thick (longitudinally), stained them and measured various anatomical features. The tissue above is from a Lodgepole pine needle, of which the needle height (two longer lines) and mesophyll tissue height (two shorter lines) have been measured.
photo by Dawna Brand
Interrenal cells in elasmobranchs:
Interrenal cells in elasmobranchs and bony fishes represent the equivalent of the mammalian adrenal cortex. The interrenal cells' appearance varies greatly in response to stress and reproduction. These cells produce corticosteroids with cortisol being the most quantitatively important. Levels can be elevated after exposure to some stressors, suggesting that cortisol is a major factor in the stress response. Cold, bacterial endotoxins, anesthesia, heavy metals and detergents cause the interrenal cells become hypertrophic and may start to radiate in large numbers into the parenchyma of the kidney. Another factor consistent with elevated environmental stress is an increase in the head kidney's interrenal cell nuclear diameters.. This has been linked to xenobiotics such as butoxyethanol ester of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid and the water soluble fraction of North Slope crude oil. For this work she examined the interrenal nuclear diameters of rainbow trout utilizing a Zeiss Universal light microscope and a Cohu solid state video camera and Optimas software.
Dawna Brand is currently a PhD candidate at University of Victoria. She has fifteen years experience in histology, eleven years experience in fish histopathology and seven years experience in measuring interrenal nuclear diameters as a tool for monitoring stress in teleost fishes. She has been a consultant to Environment Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in fish histopathological diagnosis and has published thirty papers.
photo by Dr. Sally Leys
The hexactinellid sponge, Rhabdocalyptus dawsoni:
The hexactinellid sponge, Rhabdocalyptus dawsoni, photographed at 30 m depth on the wall of Saanich Inlet, British Columbia. Computer-assisted measurements of length, width, and circumference using Optimas software, of tagged sponges photographed twice yearly for 3 years, showed that these sponges grow at an average rate of 2 cm/yr or 165 ml/yr. At this rate of growth, an average sized sponge (50 cm length) would be 100 years old. The largest sponge photographed, 1 m long, could be 220 years old. Most sponges sloughed their outer spicule layer in the winter, and regained it during the spring.
Sally Leys is an Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta.
photo by Dr. Inigo Novales Flamarique
Cone mosaic in the centro-temporal retina:
Cone mosaic in the centro-temporal retina of rainbow trout. Double cones (DCs) have elliptical cross-sections while single cones (SCs) are circular. DCs are maximally sensitive to green/red light while SCs are primarialy UV or blue light sensitive. Photographed with a Zeiss Universal microscope.
Inigo Novales Flamarique is an assistant professor at Simon Fraser University. His research focuses on the mechanisms for detection and neural processing of colour and the polarization of light.
photo by Dr. Robert Burke
Projection of a stack of confocal images:
Projection of a stack of confocal images of the head of a 21 day chicken embryo stained with the monoclonal antibody HNK-1. The immunoreactive cells are migratory neural crest cells that are leaving the hindbrain and migrating to the 3 and 4th branchial arches.
Projection of a stack of 10 - 1 µm optical sections of the blastopore of a sea urchin embryo stained with rhodamine phalloidin. This fluorescent probe binds with filamentous actin, that is abundant in the apical ends of a set of bottle shaped cells surrounding the blastopore. The contraction of the apical ends of these cells is associated with the infolding of the archenteron and thought to provide the motive force for the initial stage of gastrulation.
Robert Burke is a Developmental Biologist interested in how embryos acquire form. He is specifically working on what molecules are involved and how they function. He uses many of the methods of molecular and cellular biology to determine the patterns of expression of specific genes. Confocal microscopy, light microscopy, coupled with immunocytochemistry and RNA in situ hybridization are the specific techniques he uses in association with the Advanced Imaging Laboratory.
Investigation of feeding processes in Hexactinellid sponges:
Investigation of feeding processes in Hexactinellid sponges using computer-enhanced video microscopy and electron microscopy. These strange animals are accessible locally by SCUBA diving (one of two places in the world where this is the case), and are particularly interesting due to their very odd cell biology and internal structure. This figure is a collage of sequential video frames and a line drawing produced in Adobe Photoshop and Harvard Graphics software, outlining the events surrounding particle phagocytosis (i.e. sponge having lunch). In these sponges, the collar bodies (labelled C1 - C3) trap particles against basal tissue, which subsequently ingests them. The video frames follow the fate of a latex bead (labelled '1'), which trapped by collar body C1, eaten, and then transported internally (yes, sponges seem to enjoy latex as a snack).
Russel Wyeth was an honours student working with Dr. Sally Leys.