Paying it forward

2 November 2017

As a new assistant professor at James Cook University (JCU), marine conservation physiologist Jodie Rummer applied to the Journal of Experimental Biology for a Travelling Fellowship to perform fieldwork at Lizard Island Research Station in the Northern Great Barrier Reef of Australia. There, Jodie collaborated with Philip Munday (JCU), Göran Nilsson and Sjannie Lefevre (University of Oslo), and Timothy Clark (Australian Institute of Marine Science), gathering data on the oxygen consumption rates of coral reef fishes under different CO2 conditions to simulate potential effects of climate change, such as ocean acidification.

A few years later Jodie received a request from Björn Illing, a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute for Hydrobiology and Fisheries Science, University of Hamburg, Germany, to visit her lab. Following in Jodie’s footsteps, Björn applied for a Travelling Fellowship from the Journal of Experimental Biology to support his visit, where he planned to investigate the effects of temperature on the survival of larval cinnamon clownfish. Coral reef fishes are often exposed to high daily temperature fluctuations on flat reefs due to high radial and tidal forcing. However, little is known about how the upper thermal tolerance varies across the larval development of these fishes. Thanks to a Travelling Fellowship from The Company of Biologists, Björn was able to obtain valuable data and write a collaborative paper with Jodie. The collaboration was so successful that Björn has now returned with a prestigious Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft fellowship to continue his research as a post-doc in Jodie’s lab.

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