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Faculty for Biology, Chemistry, and Earth Sciences

Animal Ecology I: Prof. Dr. Christian Laforsch, Prof. Dr. Heike Feldhaar

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Jessica FischerB. Sc.

Jessica Fischer

Doctoral student

Phone: +49-921-55-2656
Fax: +49-921-55-2784
Room: NW I, 5.0 01 37
e-Mail: jessica.fischer(at)uni-bayreuth.de


Living in extreme Habitats – the potential Role of freshwater microcrustaceans in Bioregenerative Life Support Systems


 

The aim of my PhD is to establish freshwater microcrustaceans, i.e. the water flea Daphnia and musselshrimps (Ostracoda), in bioregenerative life support systems (BLSS). Such systems resemble food webs in aquatic ecosystems and prospectively enable recycling of organic waste and carbon dioxide and can thereby regenerate the atmosphere and produce food. Therein Ostracoda and Daphnia could act as key link between oxygen liberating, autotrophic producers such as unicellular algae and higher trophic levels such as fish. The two taxa, Daphnia and Ostracoda, were chosen to possibly complement each other in terms of biomass production and environmental tolerance. In contrast to Daphnia, Ostracoda generate less biomass usable for fish nutrition, but are far more tolerant to the harsh, unfavorable and instable conditions dominating BLSS (e.g. changing temperature, water flow rate, oxygen concentration and pH-value, as well as to the contamination with organic material or nutrients). BLSS will play an important role in explorations and life in extreme environments, but especially in manned space missions, for example to the planet Mars. My two main topics are therefore (i) gravity perception and behaviour of the organisms in microgravity and (ii) ecological parameters occurring in BLSS and the resultant performance of the inhabiting microcrustaceans.

Methods Ecological exposure experiments; dye and staining techniques for subsequent CLSM, TEM, SEM; behaviour experiments during microgravity: sounding rocket (TEXUS), parabolic flights, drop tower, clinostats and random positioning machines (simulated microgravity)


The water flea Daphnia magna (left) and the ostracod Heterocypris incongruens (top

right) used in an ecological experiment (bottom right).

 


FLTR: Start of a TEXUS sounding rocket, A300 ZERO-G parabolic flight aircraft, experiment to analyse swimming behaviour in microgravity during parabolic flights, Alexander Gerst and Samantha Cristoforetti with parts of experiment hardware

 


FLTR: Drop Tower Bremen, experiment enclosed in drop capsule inside Drop Tower Bremen, parts of the experiment hardware enclosed in the drop capsule, Random Positioning Machine to achieve simulated microgravity

 

 

FUNDING


PhD Stipend awarded by the Helmholtz Space Life Sciences Research School – SpaceLife


Travel Grant awarded by University of Bayreuth Graduate School to conduct experiments at the ESRF (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility) to analyse subcellular structures in Ostracoda, Grenoble (France)


Travel Grant awarded by EES (Graduate Program for Evolution, Ecology and Systematics, Munich) to conduct microgravity experiments using parabolic flights within the research project “Swimming behaviour and graviperception of planktonic organisms”, Cologne (Germany)


Travel Grant awarded by the GraduateCenterLMU to attend the ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting, Lake Biwa (Japan)


DLR (German Aerospace Center), BMWi (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie) and ESA (European Space Agency)

 

 

PUBLICATIONS


Abstracts            Jessica Fischer, Renate Matzke-Karasz, Sonja Mailänder, David Hauth (2011): Ostracods (Crustacea) as palaeoenvironmental indicators in a geoarchaeological study: Landscape development around the Celtic Princely Seat on the Ipf-mountain (Western margin of the Nördlinger Ries Meteorite Crater, Germany). Joannea Geologie Paläontologie 11: 55-56

Talks                     Bernard Wolfschoon Ribeiro, Kathrin Schoppmann, Jessica Fischer, Benjamin Trotter, Christian Laforsch (2014): Distinct but neglected: The gravireceptive organ in Daphnia. 40. COSPAR scientific assembly, 02. - 10. 08. 2014, Moscow, Russia.

Kathrin Schoppmann, Jessica Fischer, Bernard Wolfschoon Ribeiro, Benjamin Trotter, Christian Laforsch (2013): Molekulare µg-Effekte auf Daphnia, Evolution der Schwerkraftwahrnehmung und die Suche nach geeigneten Kandidaten. 13. Gravimeeting Erlangen (Germany), 5. - 6.12.2013

Kathrin Schoppmann, Jessica Fischer, Bernard Wolfschoon Ribeiro, Benja-min Trotter, Annika Olsen, Ruth Hemmersbach, Christian Laforsch (2012): Planktonorganismen für Lebenserhaltungssysteme. 12. Gravimeeting Erlangen (Germany), 28.–30.11.2012

Christian Laforsch, Kathrin Schoppmann, Jessica Fischer (2012): A new multifunctional organ system for the sensation of gravity and microturbulence in Daphnia. 39th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, Mysore (India), 14. - 22.07.2012

Jessica Fischer, Kathrin Schoppmann, Christian Laforsch (2012): A new multifunctional organ system for the sensation of gravity and microturbulence in Daphnia. ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting, Lake Biwa (Japan), 08. - 13.07.2012

Kathrin Schoppmann, Jessica Fischer, Bernard Wolfschoon Ribeiro, Benjamin Trotter, Annika Olsen, Ruth Hemmersbach, Christian Laforsch (2011): A new multifunctional organ system for the sensation of gravity and microturbulence in Daphnia?. 11. Gravimeeting Erlangen (Germany), 01. - 02.12.2011

Kathrin Schoppmann, Jessica Fischer, Bernard Wolfschoon Ribeiro, Benjamin Trotter, Christian Laforsch (2011): A new multifunctional organ system for the sensation of gravity and microturbulence in Daphnia?. 4. Graduiertenforum der Fachgruppe Morphologie der Deutschen Zoologischen Gesellschaft, Munich (Germany), 21. - 23.10.2011

Posters                 Jessica Fischer, Kathrin Schoppmann, Renate Matzke-Karasz, Christian Laforsch (2013): The potential role of freshwater ostracods in controlled ecological life support systems (CELSS). 17. International Symposium on Ostracoda (ISO) Rome (Italy), 23. - 26.07.2013

Jessica Fischer, Ralf Anken, Kathrin Schoppmann, Renate Matzke-Karasz, Christian Laforsch (2012): Living in extreme habitats: The potential role of freshwater ostracods in life support systems. 12. Gravimeeting Erlangen (Germany), 28. - 30.11.2012

Jessica Fischer, Kathrin Schoppmann, Christian Laforsch (2011): Morphologische und neuronale Charakterisierung des Abdominalorgans bei Daphnia. 11. Gravimeeting Erlangen (Germany), 01. - 02.12.2011

Jessica Fischer, Kathrin Schoppmann, Christian Laforsch (2011): Morphologische und neuronale Charakterisierung des Abdominalorgans bei Daphnia. 4. Graduiertenforum der Fachgruppe Morphologie der Deutschen Zoologischen Gesellschaft, Munich (Germany), 21. - 23.10.2011

Jessica Fischer, Renate Matzke-Karasz, Sonja Mailänder, David Hauth (2011): Ostracods (Crustacea) as palaeoenvironmental indicators in a geoarchaeological study: Landscape development around the Celtic Princely Seat on the Ipf-mountain (Western margin of the Nördlinger Ries Meteorite Crater, Germany). 7th European Ostracodologists’ Meeting, Graz (Austria), 25. - 28.07.2011 



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