Fernan Jaramillo, Biology

Date of Report: 6/28/12

Equipment Purchased with the Award

zebrafish system
Kron-Hite filter
research computer
scope stand (Old School Industries)

Impact of Equipment on Teaching

To partly overhaul the Neurobiology (Biol 387), and Human Physiology (Biol 233) labs I have worked to develop ways to integrate a new model organism, zebrafish, into the students' work. Similar work has also been carried out by Matt Rand and Jennifer Wolff in the Biology department. We chose zebrafish to use in some of these new labs because it offers a wide array of potential teaching approaches. Because of its transparency and accessible genetics, zebrafish can be used to explore multiple questions studies using different techniques. Lastly, we introduced zebrafish because of the reduced preparation time, increasing the amount of time available for learning.

During the spring of 2012 students in the neurobiology lab were able to record electrocardiograms in zebrafish, opening the possibility of heart development/heart function studies in Human Physiology and in the upcoming Carleton Summer Science Institute (CSSI, supported by HHMI). Currently, a summer student is working in my lab to further develop these exercises for CSSI.

The microscope and other instrumentation form part of an imaging/mechanics/electrophysiological setup to explore lateral line, vestibular, and neuromuscular function. Three upper level students working during summer research have used this setup to explore mechano-electrical transduction issues in zebrafish and in amphibians. In addition, my upper level neurobiology class has been able to do some minor exploration of the zebrafish CNS organization.

Impact of Equipment on Research

My work is in biophysics, at the intersection of cell biology and sensory neurobiology. My students use a variety of mechanical, optical, imaging, and electrophysiological approaches.

Materials Developed As A Result of Equipment Acquisition