Marine Life Talk at NOC in Southampton – 3 July

Sensory adaptation of deep-sea fish

3 July 2014 – Ming-Tsung Chung

Sensory adaptation of deep-sea fish

The open ocean is strongly zoned by vertical gradients. Numerous environmental factors, such as topography, temperature, light penetration, vary with depth. Fish have evolved with different life history traits and physiological mechanisms in response to these vertical gradients. For example, a decrease in metabolism with depth determines the life style of fish in the deep sea; reduction of growth rate and transformation of feeding behaviours to a more efficient way have been observed.

Two sensory abilities, movement perception and vision, have been found to link with feeding strategies. Fish behaviour relies more on vestibular ability (sense of balance) and visual sensitivity above 1000m, indicating the importance of visual hunting at shallower layers. Pelagic fish (living in the water column) show a greater depth-dependent reduction of two perceptions than demersal species (living close to/on the seafloor), as visual based predation is more effective in the pelagic realm. How fish live in the deep sea is still an unresolved question and sensory adaption can give a clue to explain functional behaviours and metabolic ecology. Moreover, it is expected to reveal evolutionary trends of deep-sea taxa.

Ming-Sung Chung completed his undergraduate studies in Earth Science and Life Science at the National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan. Since 2010, he has been studying deep-sea fish ecology at NOCS and was awarded a MRes degree in 2011.

Ming-Sung is now undertaking a PhD studying behaviours and life history traits of deep-sea fish.

Next Marine Life Talk

7 August 2014 – Underwater carbon storage – Chiara Marieni

4 September – Hadal Trenches – Matteo Ichino

Free admission – these talks are open to the public

This talk will be in the Henry Charnock Lecture Theatre, Level 4 and will start at 7.30pm, please arrive at 7.15pm.

Arrangements for wheelchairs must be made in advance. Unless it is possible to descend via the stairs in an emergency, access to upper floors cannot be permitted as lifts are automatically immobilised when the fire alarm is activated.

The National Oceanography Centre is reached via Dock Gate 4 (between Southampton’s Town Quay and Ocean Village).

Event dates: 
Thursday 3 July 2014 - 19:15 to 21:30