Congratulations Dr. Christina Pasparakis!

We are extremely proud to introduce you to Dr. Christina Pasparakis! On August 10th, Dr. Pasparakis successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation entitled “Effects of Temperature, Ultraviolet Radiation and Crude Oil Exposure on Early – Life Staged Mahi – Mahi (Coryphaena hippurus).  It has been an honor to work with her and be a part of her Ph.D. journey through RECOVER at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. We are excited to see what the future holds for her as she continues on into her post – doctoral position at the Rosenstiel School with RECOVER lead PI, Dr. Martin Grosell. Below, please find a word from Dr. Grosell, as well as a short video that captures some of the research Dr. Pasparakis conducts:

Density Gradient Columns

Need to measure small organisms? Look no further than the density gradient columns!These columns are used to determine the denisty of very small organims that cannot be measured with standard euipment, like mahi – mahi embryos! Once the columns are created and calibrated using small floats, the embryos are introduced and will sink down to their density and remain suspended. RECOVER's Dr. Christina Pasparakis uses these columns to determine how factors such as UV radiation and crude oil affect embryonic buoynacy which is critical in embryo survival!Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science University of North Texas University of Texas Marine Science Institute UMass Boston University of California, Riverside

Posted by RECOVER on Friday, August 17, 2018

 

“Christina worked briefly as a research assistance in my lab before joining the PhD program in January 2014. Christina’s dissertation work was initially centered around understanding impacts of oil exposure in developing embryos of pelagic fish, a research area of high significance following the deepwater horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. During the first years of her PhD work, Christina further developed and refined sophisticated equipment to measure metabolic rates in small organisms such as fish embryos and her work lead to a product now sold across the world and used in dozen of laboratories. An unexpected outcome of Christina’s work was the discovery of dynamic buoyancy control in mahi embryos. Christina’s work demonstrated that mahi embryos can detect UV light and avoid, or at least reduce, the damaging impacts of this naturally occurring stressor by altering their position in the water column. These findings were not anticipated and this new and exciting direction of research is now possible due to Christina’s diligent work. Throughout her time in my group Christina has shown an uncrushable “can-do” attitude and a watchful eye for interesting and unexpected findings. In Christina, these traits are combined with a winning and considerate personality making her an absolute pleasure to work with. I am extremely happy that Christina will be able to continue her groundbreaking research in my group as a postdoctoral fellow.”