From American Physiological Society
Macarthur Award winning physiologist to present Scholander Award and lecture August 27, 2002 -- (Bethesda, MD) -- Barbara A. Block, Ph.D., a world renowned expert on tuna behavior and migration, will present the 2002 Comparative Physiology Section Scholander Award on Wednesday, August 28, 2002. The Scholander Award is named in honor of Per Scholander (1905-1980), who made important discoveries ranging from the diving reflex in marine mammals to the composition of atmospheric gases in ice cores, and who is considered one of the preeminent physiologists of the 20th century. Dr. Block will present the Scholander Award Lecture.
Following her lecture, Dr. Block will make the award to the young researcher presenting the most outstanding work at the upcoming meeting, "The Power of Comparative Physiology: Evolution, Integration and Application," a program of the American Physiological Society (APS). Founded in 1887, the Bethesda-based Society is among the oldest scientific societies in the United States. Their current gathering is being held August 24-28, 2002 at the Town & Country Hotel, San Diego, CA. Additional information about the conference is available at: http://www.the-aps.org/meetings/aps/san_diego/home.htm
Barbara Block, Ph.D.
Dr. Block is an Associate Professor of Evolutionary, Cellular and Molecular Physiology and cofounder of the Tuna Research and Conservation Center (TRCC) at Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove, Calif. The TRCC program provides a successful model for future partnerships between academic researchers and aquaria, zoos or museum personnel attempting to bridge programs with an emphasis on science, conservation and outreach.
At the center of the TRCC program is a unique facility, established at Hopkins Marine Station in September of 1994 for the maintenance of captive tunas. The TRCC personnel, in collaboration with aquarium personnel, maintain two large populations of tunas, one in the TRCC facility and one on exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Currently over 150 tunas representing four species (yellowfin, Pacific bluefin, and two species of skipjacks) are housed in these facilities.
Such an effort is desperately at a time when new management strategies for these remarkable and commercially valuable fish are in dispute and their breeding population is in sharp decline. One such initiative by the TRCC is the development of a new satellite-based tagging technology that has proven that it can shed new light on tuna migration.
The microprocessor tags were deployed in 1996 and 1997 by scientists from Stanford University, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the National Marine Fisheries Service. The research effort found that tunas tagged off Cape Hatteras, N.C., were able to move as far as 1,670 nautical miles in 90 days - and that some fish crossed the internationally established line separating eastern and western management zones for the bluefin fishery.
This research has momentous implications for steps underway to preserve the species and policies adopted by leading tuna fishing nations.
In 1996, Dr. Block was a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, a five-year unrestricted grant for "individuals across all ages and fields who show exceptional merit and promise of continued and enhanced creative work."
Dr. Black's contributions to science have advanced the understanding of movements and the physiological ecology of tunas and billfishes, resulting in a new insight into the selective advantage of endothermy in fishes. For her efforts, she has been awarded the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, the President's Medal of the Society for Experimental Biology in London, the George Bartholomew Award of the American Society of Zoologists and one of the first of Stanford's Terman Fellowships.
The American Physiological Society's Scholander Award
The Comparative Physiology Section Scholander Award certificate and cash prize will be presented to an outstanding investigator presenting a research poster at this meeting. The recipient must be first author on the abstract and not more than five years past the attainment of the highest educational degree.
It is especially appropriate that Dr. Block present this award. In the 1950s, Canadian scientist P. F. Scholander, for whom the award is named, investigated how Arctic fish could swim in water colder than the freezing point of fish blood. Eventually, his experiments showed that the blood of some northern fish contains "antifreeze."
With Dr. Barbara Block, a new pioneer in the study of fish physiology, the legacy of Dr. Scholander's continues.
EDITOR'S NOTE: To schedule an interview with Dr. Block, please contact Donna Krupa at the APS Newsroom, (619) 908.5069 or (619) 291.7131 ext. 3941. Or contact her via cell at (703) 967.2751 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Physiological Society (APS) is one of the world's most prestigious organizations for physiological scientists. These researchers specialize in understanding the processes and functions by which animals live, and thus ultimately underlie human health and disease. Founded in 1887 the Bethesda, MD-based Society has more than 10,000 members and publishes 3,800 articles in its 14 peer-reviewed journals each year.
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