[Seminar] The neurobiological effects of ocean acidification on a cephalopod


Tuesday, August 9, 2022 - 14:00 to 15:00


Center Building C210



Jodi Thomas, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD Australia.

Hosted by:

Professor Timothy Ravasi, OIST Marine Climate Change Unit


The uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) by the ocean is causing seawater CO2 levels to rise, changing ocean chemistry in a process known as ocean acidification (OA). OA can affect a variety of physiological processes, life history traits and behaviours of fish and marine invertebrates. As invertebrates comprise the vast majority of marine diversity, are essential for key ecosystem processes and support human livelihoods, OA-induced effects of marine invertebrates could have ecological, social and economic consequences. The nervous system forms the fundamental link between the environment and an organism’s physiology and behaviour, likely coordinating responses to OA. However, the nervous system’s role in biological responses to elevated CO2 has been little explored, especially for marine invertebrates. In this seminar, Jodi presents research from her PhD thesis which used experimental and molecular approaches to investigate the response of the cephalopod nervous system to elevated CO2, and the mechanistic neurobiological underpinnings of OA-induced behavioural alterations in a cephalopod. A mechanistic neurobiological understanding will help develop cause-effect relationships to identify which marine inverteberates will be most vulnerable to rising CO2 levels in the ocean, and how this may affect marine diversity and ecosystem function.


Jodi completed her Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Zoology and Neuroscience at the University of Otago in New Zealand. Her honours project, and following work as a research assistant, focused on the neuroendocrine regulatory and molecular mechanisms underlying female to male sex change in sequentially hermaphroditic fish. Jodi has recently submitted her PhD thesis at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, under the supervision of Prof. Philip Munday and Dr. Sue-Ann Watson.As part of her PhD research, Jodi has been a visiting research student at OIST working with the Marine Climate Change Unit. She investigated the affects of elevated carbon dioxide levels on the nervous system of a cephalopod. Jodi is interested in the intersection of neuroscience and zoology, and the role of the nervous system in behaviour and phenotypic plasticity.

Zoom link:

Meeting id: 989 7975 2762 | Passcode: 292505

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