ICEFISH CRUISE 2004 Here I Come! No one could be more excited to go on their first (near) Antarctic expedition than me. As a young scientist, I am looking forward to learning valuable research and field skills (even under very harsh conditions), interacting with the prominent scientists of the polar biological community, and developing interpersonal skills that will assist me in the future. As a current Masters student under Dr. H.William Detrich at Northeastern University (Boston, MA), I am studying bloodthirsty (bty), an erythropoietic gene recently discovered by the Detrich lab using a comparative genomics approach involving the hemoglobinless Antarctic icefishes. bty is involved in the genetic program that controls the differentiation of red blood cells in vertebrates. My objective in this research is to determine the position of bty in the erythropoietic program of zebrafish by epistasis analysis (i.e., relative to other erythroid genes, does bty act early or late in the development and differentiation of red blood cells?).
My major goal while underway on the R/V Nathaniel B. Palmer is to prepare high molecular weight DNA from a variety of species that live in the Sub-Antarctic portion of the Atlantic Ocean. From these samples, bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries will be created for future genomic analysis.