The Use of Accelerometers to Determine the Daily Energy Budget of Juvenile Lemon and Nurse Sharks.
My project aims to achieve a goal that has eluded researchers for decades:
measuring the metabolic rate of free-ranging marine predators. Achieving this
goal is crucial to quantifying a species’ impact on the ecosystem, estimating
the effect of their removal on lower trophic levels and producing reliable
bioenergetics models for fisheries management. Field metabolic rate values will
be attained using recently developed accelerometer technology for the model
species Negaprion brevirostris and Ginglymostoma cirratum.
Accelerometers are utilized in a variety of industries and have multiple
applications. Within biology the use of accelerometers for determining energy
expenditure in humans (H. sapiens) has been recognized since the 1980s. However,
it has only been more recently that their use for determining metabolic rate in other
species, including ones that inhabit an obscure medium, has been explored. This
project employs an animal borne tri-axial accelerometer to obtain body movement
data for determining Overall Dynamic Body Acceleration (ODBA). This theory
is based on the concept that energy is required to contract muscles, which in turn
produce limb, or body acceleration. The relationship between oxygen consumption
(a measure of metabolic rate) and ODBA will be investigated to determine whether
ODBA is a reliable proxy for determining metabolic rate in these model species.
For more information, please contact Lauran Brewster at firstname.lastname@example.org
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