Colombian researcher Daniela Moraga López research the evolution of the scale of fish and sharks, stretching again hundreds of years, which may additionally give clues as to how they could change within the subsequent hundred years because the planet warms.
Moraga, a PhD scholar within the Paleoecology and Paleoenvironments Lab on the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile (Pontifical Catholic University of Chile), says her principal challenge focuses on understanding how the physique measurement of fish of financial significance have modified over time.
She appears at species corresponding to jack mackerel and croaker, fish related to the Pacific Coast of the Atacama Desert, Chile, to see how their measurement has modified attributable to local weather shifts, from the final nice glacier 20,000 years in the past to the current.
“After seeing what the body trends of the fish have been, we can predict how climate change will affect the sizes of these species if they continue to face an increase in temperature in the years 2050-2100,” she says.
Moraga has additionally studied a variant of the 5S gene in rays present in freshwater and marine environments, in addition to figuring out the evolution of physique measurement in sharks and rays, utilizing phylogenetic-ecological data.
“We can determine which were the optimal sizes in certain geological times such as the sizes reached by extinct species such as the (giant shark) Megalodon,” she says.
Childhood Passion for Nature
Moraga grew up in Cali, Colombia, which is a land-locked metropolis, a couple of hours drive type Colombia’s Pacific coast and really early on she had an affinity for nature and the pure sciences.
“During my childhood, I was very lucky to study at a school with a forest, so it was common to observe amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals,” she says, including that she additionally had educational inclinations throughout childhood in the direction of astronomy and biology.
“This moment was the one that awakened my scientific aptitudes and why I’m oriented towards the sciences,” she says.
Moraga would go on to check her undergraduate diploma in in Biology on the Universidad del Valle, in Cali Colombia after which do her masters research on the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile (Pontifical Catholic University of Chile).
Moraga says being in science has given her the chance to journey to numerous elements of the world, together with internships in Rio of Janeiro and within the United States.
Moraga says she’s additionally had the chance to assembly individuals of various nationalities and to get to know new cultures and been in a position to go to distant elements of her personal nation.
“The biggest STEM anecdote that I remember was my field trip to a small town in Choco Nariño (Ensenada, Nariño),” she says, “In this area, Colombia, you can see the flags of groups such as the (now-demobilised armed group) FARC, however, it is a beautiful area with high diversity of fish and a community of very warm and friendly people.”
Another Colombian researcher who’s wanting into the previous for clues to how one can confront future challenges is Catalina Suarez.
She research the fossils of historic mammals, their paleobiology and paleoecology, looking for clues to grasp how local weather change impacts diversification and extinction charges in mammals.