Updated 07-10-2012 08:39am mp

For a schedule of symposia, click here. To view the entire abstract collection, click here. For the congress program, click here. You will receive printed copies of each when you check in at the Congress Registration Desk.


Are we there yet? Application of physiology to improve fish culture

Moderators: Bruce Barton, Jesse Trushenski and Don MacKinlay

Fish are cultured throughout the world for conservation, restoration, harvest, recreation, food and ornamental markets, and scientific research. This symposium aims to highlight the practical ways that the many aspects of research have been applied to improve fish culture. Sessions will include the following topics: Genetic Management; Monitoring Stocking Strategies; Nutrition and Feeding; Minimizing Stress and Handling; Environmental Interactions; Structural Upgrades; Gamete Manipulation, Maturation and Spawning; Growth and Metabolism; Water Quality Management; and Disease Tolerance and Biosecurity. Come to this Symposium to hear about the latest advances in fish culture, and to present information on how your projects have improved their fish culture practices to better meet the goals of your agency, program or stakeholders?



Ecological risks of anthropogenic noise on fishery resources

Moderators: Jackson Gross and Brandon Casper

With the rise in global demand for natural resources, the development of new energy technologies along with the exploration and extraction of traditional energy sources in the United States is a priority.  With recently discovered regions of oil and gas reserves from inland sources, particularly throughout the upper Missouri River basin, there has also been an increased interest in surveying freshwater ecosystems such as lakes and riverbeds. In accessing these new resources it is critical to better identify the ecological ramifications of expanding traditional methods used in the marine environment into freshwater environments as significant challenges may be placed on ecological patterns and distributions of fishery resources not present in the marine environment. Of growing concern are the effects of anthropogenic noise on fishes. Research on the effects of anthropogenic noise has primarily been directed at mitigating impacts to marine mammals while few peer-reviewed studies characterize the effects of these noise sources on fishes. This symposia will discuss the risks of increased anthropogenic noise such as from oil exploration, pile driving, and wind farms to fishery resources.



Fish cell cultures as a tool for fish physiology research

Moderators: Bruria Funkenstein and Wei Ge

The use of fish cell cultures provides a useful tool for both environmental toxicology as well as for research of a variety of physiological systems related to fish biology such as growth (muscle and bone cell cultures), reproduction (pituitary and gonadal cell cultures), diseases (head kidney cells and macrophages) and many more. The symposium will bring together researchers from various research areas that are using either primary or stable cell cultures that were obtained from various fish organs/tissues and have different characteristics (epithelial, neuronal, fibroblastic, etc). The purpose of the symposium will be to compare methodologies of preparing fish cell cultures, comparison to cell cultures from the same organs from higher vertebrates. Presentations should include the use of these cells cultures to study factors affecting differentiation, biological activity of recombinant proteins and peptides, receptor binding and cell signaling, application to ecotoxicology.  



Fish in a Toxic World: Biomarkers and Impacts of Exposure

Moderators: Mark G J Hartl, Chris Kennedy and Lynn Weber

Aquatic environments offer and sustain diverse habitats for fish, but also attract an ever-increasing level of anthropogenic activity, of both commercial and recreational nature. Consequently these environments are under continued pressure owing to the discharge of communal and industrial effluent and atmospheric fallout, as well as pesticides from agricultural runoff and antifouling agents. The input of these often toxic contaminants, as well as re-introduction from secondary sources, such as sediment deposits, has had often subtle, but nonetheless dramatic impacts on fish and fisheries. Understanding the underlying routes of contaminant exposure and mechanisms of toxicity in fish, on all levels of biological organisation, is vital in order to protect vulnerable species that often inhabit key positions in the structure of delicately balanced aquatic communities. As in previous years, this symposium provides a popular multidisciplinary platform for researchers, particularly graduate students, to present and discuss their work on the mechanisms of physiological impairment, comparative approaches to toxicology of various compound groups, including organics and metals, and associated ecotoxicological biomarkers



Fish living on the edge: coping with extreme environments

Moderators: Patricia Wright and Suzie Currie

Fish inhabiting extreme environments can provide valuable insights into physiological processes pushed to the edge. Applying the August Krogh principle to a variety of problems, the speakers in this session will broaden our perspective of what the limitations are for fish encountering challenges in a variety of environments. Speakers will focus on extreme temperature and oxygen stress, adaptations for terrestrial environments, as well as aquatic habitats with unusual chemical compositions. The symposium will include a broad group of physiologists studying a range of systems, including sensory systems, locomotion, cardiovascular/respiratory systems, excretory systems, as well as cellular responses to environmental stress.



Fish migration physiology and behavior

Moderators: Christian Tudorache and Ted Castro-Santos

Migration is a widespread phenomenon among fishes, allowing them to take advantage of a diversity of habitats and to escape hostile conditions. Importantly, these movements do not need to involve journeys between biomes to realize substantial benefits. Perhaps because diadromous migrations have been the outstanding examples for mobility in fishes and non-diadromous species have been deemed to be resident, potamodromy has largely been excluded from management schemes aiming to restore connectivity to river systems. Increasingly, evidence suggests that most so-called resident freshwater fish species undertake potamodromous migrations. These remain poorly understood, owing to a) limited studies targeting movements of riverine species, and b) limited accuracy of the methods employed to investigate them. Research on behavioural and physiological aspects of fish migration can help to better understand and manage the existing populations. Additionally, it can help to stop bioinvasion harmful to existing ecosystems. The aim of this symposium is to highlight different aspects of fish migration and to help inform a prioritization scheme for management of riverine fishes and ecosystems



Food Intake and Utilization in Fish

Moderators: Brian C. Peterson and Brian C. Small

Food intake is routinely measured by fish biologists. However, our knowledge regarding the mechanisms controlling food intake and how food is utilized is still in its infancy. The mechanisms that regulate food intake and processing are complex and include physiological and biochemical processes, hormonal interactions, fish behavior, and environmental cues. This symposium is meant to focus on recent advances in our understanding of how these factors influence food intake and utilization in fish. Topics will cover how different tissues and associated pathways act and interact to regulate feeding activity and utilization. Emphasis will be on the hormones that influence satiety and food utilization, including interactions with behavior and environment as they affect food intake and nutrient partitioning. We intend to invite speakers for this symposium and encourage contributions from investigators conducting fundamental research on the regulatory aspects of food intake and utilization in fish. Student participation is especially encouraged.



Ion and acid- base regulation in fish

Moderators: Greg Goss, Colin Brauner and Steve McCormick

There have been many recent advances in both our understanding of fish ion transport mechanisms, acid-base physiology and how they are regulated in fish.  This symposium will bring together the top researchers in the broad field of ion and of acid-base regulation in fishes to discuss the current topics and future directions for the field. We plan to have sub-sections throughout the day that will deal with new advances understanding a) smoltification, b) endocrinological control of ion regulation, c) calcium, sodium and calcium and ammonium transport, and d) acid-base regulation. The symposia will highlight researchers using whole animal approaches and those following more cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying these regulatory events.  This symposium will bring together speakers interested in a holistic approach to understanding the mechanisms involved in alteration and regulation of ion and acid-base status in fishes. In recent years, this symposium has become one of the de facto main venues for the field of ion and acid-base regulation in fish, attracting scientists from all over the world on a regular basis and serving as a strong focal point for international exchange of ideas.  Following from very successful symposia co-organized by the three of us in Vancouver, Manaus, St John’s, Portland and most recently Barcelona we would like to continue on and expand this tradition with at least a full day symposium.



Parasites of fish: minor inconvenience or major influence on ecophysiology?

Moderators: Alastair Lyndon et al

Most knowledge of fish physiology derives from controlled laboratory studies or from aquaculture. It is often assumed that this translates to physiological functioning in the field, an assumption underpinning, for example, many biomonitoring methods. However, an important factor not accounted for in most such research is the potential role of parasites in modulating fish physiology. This may alter the magnitude and/or variability of field measurements compared to lab-based studies, so impacting on the efficacy of such data for practical purposes. The proposed session aims to gather our knowledge of the impacts of parasites on fish physiology, to evaluate the potential for such impacts to affect ecophysiological predictions in areas such as biomonitoring, climate change and conservation, and to suggest ways in which any such effects might be identified and allowed for in ecophysiological studies.



The physiology of climate change: understanding the responses of fish to increased temperatures and the increased prevalence of aquatic hypoxic zones

Moderators: Matt Mesa; Alec Maule and Jay Nelson


The purpose of this symposium is to highlight the potential that climate change has to alter fish habitat including the formation of dead zones and how the physiological responses of fishes will factor in to their ability to withstand climate change.



Sensing the Environment: Molecules to Populations - A celebration of the pioneering work of Arthur D. Hasler

Moderators Keith Tierney and Peter Sorensen

The session aims to bring together junior to established researchers in the field of fish sensory biology to link signals (sensory input from various modes, with an emphasis on olfaction) to receivers (molecular level and above) in order to understand the future of fish populations in a changing environment.  Of particular focus is how current research has built upon the legacy of Art Hasler and his seminal work on olfactory-mediated behaviors within and across species. 



Stress in fish. From genes to behaviour

Moderators: Lluis Tort, Matt Vijayan

A symposium on stress in fish has been part of the Fish Biology Congress symposia since its inception. No other conferences or societies consistently offer a symposium on the topic “stress in fish”. This symposium is very well attended. For instance, at the 9th fish congress 21 oral presentations were given in the stress symposium and, in addition, 9 presentations on stress and behavior or social stress were also given in the section on “physiology of social interactions in fish”. Therefore, the subject of stress has been a focus of interest for fish physiologists, and judging from the number of papers published each year this is only going to increase. The intention of the stress symposium in the 10th Fish Biology Congress is to provide a forum to review the latest investigations in the broad area of stress physiology, with special emphasis on the regulation of the stress response (at genomic, molecular, cellular or systemic levels) and the consequences of stress on fish behavior, including coping strategies and social interactions.



Swimming Physiology of Fish

Moderators: Arjan P. Palstra and Josep V. Planas

Swimming is an important aspect of the life history of fish in the aquatic environment. However, the physiological effects of swimming on growth, metabolism, reproduction and immunity are not fully understood in fish. Improved knowledge on the swimming physiology of fish and its application to fisheries science and aquaculture (i.e. farming a fitter fish) is currently needed in the face of global environmental changes, high fishing pressures, increased aquaculture production as well as increased concern on fish welfare. For this purpose, the FitFish satellite workshop and the first symposium on the Swimming Physiology of Fish were organized as part of the 9th International Congress of Fish Biology (Barcelona, 2010). The present symposium intends to continue efforts to bring together scientists covering various aspects of the swimming physiology of fish and present the most up-to-date information on this relevant topic.



Symposium on Burbot (Lota lota)

Moderators: Martin A. Stapanian and Charles P. Madenjian

Burbot Lota lota is the only member of the cod family (Gadidae) that lives exclusively in freshwater and it is one of only two freshwater fishes that have a circumpolar distribution. Burbot are benthic predators and in some systems may be the top predator. However, the overall lack of commercial and sport interest in burbot has undoubtedly contributed to its being ignored or regarded as a “trash” fish by some management agencies. As a result, burbot population dynamics and life history are not well described, and in many waters they are lacking in comprehensive management. Although burbot are widespread and abundant throughout much of their natural range, there are many populations that have been extirpated, endangered, or in serious decline. This symposium will contain studies on the biology, ecology, management, and culture of burbot. Of special interest will be (1) studies concerning artificial rearing, re-establishing extirpated populations, and rehabilitating populations that are imperiled; (2) life-history studies of burbot, particularly of juvenile and larval stages; (3) bioenergetics and population dynamics of wild populations; and (4) commercial and management applications.



Tropical environments & climate changes: extreme events affecting fish

Moderators: Dal Val; Vera Val and Renata Moreira

Extreme natural environmental challenges are found in almost all tropical freshwater and marine water bodies. The fish of these environments have shaped many adaptations to survive these conditions. Recent anthropogenic and climate changes are stressing these already extreme environmental conditions imposing severe risks to fish diversity. By highlighting analysis of whole animals in their natural environment, experiments under laboratory conditions, and approaches at cellular and molecular levels, the present symposium will bring new and relevant issues related to the biological sensitivity of Tropical fish living in these challenging environments. Since the beginning of the International Congress on Biology of Fish, this Symposium on Tropical Fish has become a tradition and important forum to exchange ideas among scientists from all over the world. Join us in Madison!



Zebra fish

Moderators: Steve F. Perry and Pung-Pung Hwang

Increasingly, integrative biologists are exploiting the zebrafish (Danio rerio) to investigate basic physiological functions. The utility of zebrafish for physiological research is based on several key features including the applicability of reverse and forward genetics to assess gene function. Thus, gene knockdown in embryos and the production of transgenic strains are now standard techniques to assess physiology, toxicology and behaviour and to model human disease. This proposed symposium will follow up the highly successful inaugural session on zebrafish held at the 9th International Congress of Fish Biology (Barcelona, 2010). While the talks given in the inaugural symposium focused on broad themes including respiration, cardiovascular function and ionic regulation, etc., the proposed symposium will highlight more focused areas within each of these themes.


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