Miriam Götting

Expression and function of globins in nucleated red blood cells of fish ​   
Global warming, oxygen limitation and pollution highly impact aquatic ecosystems worldwide but in particularly marginal Seas such as the Baltic Sea. Marked ecosystem changes have been recorded in the Baltic Sea within the last years, which include the spreading of anoxic (oxygen-free) areas, a warming trend of yearly surface water temperature, and alterations in food webs and species composition. Changes in environmental temperature and changing oxygen availabilities induce numerous physiological reactions in ectothermic aquatic organisms such as fish, which can cause stress on the cellular, but also on the whole organism level. To understand the reactions on the whole organism level it is important to understand the underlying cellular mechanisms.    
We aim to understand the oxygen- and temperature-dependent membrane transport in fish red blood cells (erythrocytes) and how it affects the specific adaptation of fish species to environmental challenges. In particular, we are interested if the oxygen-binding protein globin X (GbX) interacts with the ion-transport in fish red blood cells. To clarify these mechanisms, we use both in vivo experiments on different fish species (three-spined stickleback, rainbow trout, salmon, Arctic char) and in vitro approaches in red blood cell cultures

In collaboration with Mikko Nikinmaa and Tiina Henttinen (University of Turku), Colin Brauner (UBC Vancouver, Canada).

Funded by an EU Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship. 

Environmental pollution and eutrophication in fish    

Human and veterinarian usage of pharmaceuticals is steadily increasing and thus these pollutants are found in surface waters worldwide. We study the interacting effects of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac with low oxygen conditions (hypoxia) in three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Especially, we are interested on how the combined exposure to hypoxia and diclofenac affects gene expression and enzyme activities in fish. Furthermore we examine the potential of diclofenac and hypoxia to disturb the circadian clock and thus the biological rhythms in fish.  

In collaboration with Jenni Prokkola, Mikko Nikinmaa and Mirella Kanerva (University of Turku), Thorsten Burmester and Pedro Lubiana (University of Hamburg, Germany)

Taxonomy and DNA barcoding of polychaetes

Species identification based on morphological characters alone is sometimes challenging due to subtle diagnostic characters. Thus, we combine morphological and histological methods with molecular techniques (DNA barcoding) to study the phylogenetic systematic and biogeography of polychaetes. In particular, we are interested in several subgroups of the family Spionidae. Spionids are very common polychaetes and they inhabit virtually all marine habitats from the littoral to the deep sea. This project is done in collaboration with Karin Meissner  (Senckenberg Research Institute, German Centre for Marine Biodiversity Research, DZMB).