Jacqueline L. Padilla-Gamiño
I am interested in environmental effects on organismal function and the consequences of physiological and evolutionary responses to global change. In the field and in the laboratory, my research explores organisms’ capacities to respond to their environments and physiological mechanisms underlying ecological patterns.
My graduate research work focused on the ecophysiology of algae and reef-building corals. Specifically, my M. Sc. work focused on the thermal stress tolerance of red algae from different biogeographic regions and my Ph.D. work documented the acclimatization potential, reproductive biology and parental effects of important reef-building corals in the Pacific.
During the course of my graduate work, I became very interested in understanding how ocean acidification can influence parental effects, development and physiological properties of marine organisms with skeletons. I am exploring these topics in my post-doctoral research.
RESEARCH AREAS OF INTEREST
1) The physiology of global climate change: impacts of ocean warming and acidification
Climate change is a multi-dimensional problem that can affect organisms at many levels of biological organization and at multiple life history stages. Previously, I explored the thermal stress tolerance and acclimatization capabilities of red algae from different latitudes by measuring photosynthetic performance (using oxygen evolution and PAM fluorometry). I found that algae closer to the tropics were closer to their upper thermal limits, had narrower ranges of photosynthetic optima and a lower acclimatization potential.
Currently, we are exploring the physiological effects of both increased temperature and decreased pH on the development, growth, respiration and gene expression of the early life-stages of the purple sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. This work will help us to investigate the synergistic effects of combined climate change stressors (In collaboration with Dr. Kelly, UCSB).
2) Biology, reproduction and ecophysiology of corals
Coral reefs are one of the most diverse and productive ecosystems on Earth. The persistence of these ecosystems depends on spawning events, which occur with remarkable synchronicity during limited periods each year.
In Hawaii, I explored how the reproductive capacity of the rice coral Montipora capitata varied at different spatial and temporal scales using nocturnal field collections of gametes and histological observations. I documented life stage differences and parental effects in the context of symbiont transmission, lipids, isotopic signatures, antioxidant defense and pigmentation. I found similar parental investment in energy reserves and antioxidant protection for the eggs; however adults from different sites released eggs with different Symbiodinium ITS2 sequence assemblages which may have profound implications for the development, settlement and survival of coral offspring.
Current projects focus on exploring the gene expresssion in corals during and after a spawning event (In collaboration with Drs. Philips & Gates, UH), the effects of coral spawning on ecosystem geochemistry (In collaboration with Dr. Briggs, UH) and the ecophysiology and reproductive biology of corals located in the mesophotic zone (67-125m depth) (In collaboration with Dr. Spalding, UH).
3) Parental effects in the sea: potential for evolutionary response
Local adaptation can impact the evolutionary trajectories, speciation rates and population dynamics. Currently, we are measuring heritable genetic variation for ocean acidification tolerance in larval traits of two populations of S. purpuratus characterized by different upwelling regimes. This work will help to better understand the potential of this species to adapt to future ocean acidification conditions (In collaboration with Dr. Kelly, UCSB).
Kelly MW, Padilla-Gamiño, JL & Hofmann GE (Accepted) Natural variation, and the capacity to adapt to ocean acidificaiton in the keystone sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus Global Change Biology
Padilla-Gamiño, JL, Kelly MW, Evans T & Hofmann GE (In press) Temperature and CO2 additively regulate physiology, morphology, and genomic responses of larval sea urchins, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Padilla-Gamiño, JL, Bidigare R, Barshis DJ, Alamaru A, Hedouin L, Hernandez-Pech X, Kandel F, Leon Soon S, Roth M, Rodrigues LJ, Grottoli A, Portocarrero C, Wagenhouser S, Buttler F & Gates RD (In press) Are all eggs created equal? A case study from the Hawaiian reef building coral Montipora capitata. Coral Reefs.
Padilla-Gamiño, JL, Hanson K, Stat M & Gates RD (2012) Phenotypic plasticity of the coral Porites rus: acclimatization responses to a turbid environment. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 434-435: 71-80.
Padilla-Gamiño, JL, Pochon X, Bird C, Concepcion GT & Gates RD (2012) From parent to gamete: Vertical transmission of Symbiodinium (Dinophyceae) ITS2 sequence assemblages in the reef building coral Montipora capitata. PLoS ONE. 7(6): e38440. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038440
Padilla-Gamiño, JL & Gates RD (2012) Spawning dynamics in the Hawaiian reef building coral Montipora capitata. Marine Ecology Progress Series 449:145-160.
Padilla-Gamiño, JL, Carvallo T, Waller R & Gates RD (2011) Structural organization of the egg-sperm bundle of the coral Montipora capitata. Coral Reefs 30(2): 371-380.
Padilla-Gamiño JL & Carpenter R (2007) Seasonal acclimatization of Asparagopsis taxiformis from different biogeographic regions. Limnology & Oceanography 52(2): 833-842.
Padilla-Gamiño JL & Carpenter R (2007) Thermal ecophysiology of Laurencia pacifica and Laurencia nidifica (Ceramiales) from tropical and warm-temperate regions. Journal of Phycology 43(4): 686-692.
Gaidos E, Dubuc T, Dunford M, McAndrew P, Padilla-Gamiño JL, Studer B, Weersing K & Stanley S (2007) The Precambrian Emergence of Animal Life: A Geobiological Perspective. Geobiology 5(4): 351-373.
Throughout my research work I have had the opportunity to transmit my findings and explore and learn from the ocean with the public. You can see some video clips here.
I am the author of the children’s book ‘Kupe and the Corals’, which will be available in December 2013. Click here for details.