ARI Graduate Students - Erin Switzer
BS Clinical Lab Science University of Maine 2010
I am working with Dr. Ian Bricknell investigating the immune response of octopus. The goal is to understand how cephalopods recognize and react to pathogens during the early stages of an infection. This will then be applied to improving husbandry and welfare practices in aquaculture.
My work is an investigation of the immune factors present in octopus hemolymph, their blood equivalent. Octopuses have an enclosed circulatory system. This allows hemolymph samples to be taken from the octopus under anesthesia for study. Hemocytes, the invertebrate equivalent to white blood cells, will be the primary focus of study. Characterization of the cells along with the physical movement and pathogen killing abilities of these cells will be investigated using established laboratory techniques.
Read about Erin in Marine Science at the University of Maine.