Nishad Jayasundara, Ph.D.
Ph.D., Stanford University, 2012
Location: Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University
Our research broadly focuses on investigating physiological and biochemical traits underlying organismal adaptation to their habitat and how these traits are altered in response to changes in physical and chemical environmental factors. We are particularly interested in understanding later-life and cross-generational persistent effects of developmental exposure to abiotic stressors. In this context we study the role of mitochondria in stress responses and the potential to use mitochondrial function and mitochondrial DNA as indicators and predictors of organismal capacity to maintain fitness in rapidly changing environments. We integrate physiological analyses with “omics” approaches and focus on several species of teleost fish from the Gulf of Maine to Sri Lanka and India. The overall goal of this work is to better understand how organisms respond to ongoing and predicted changes in the environment due to climate change and chemical pollution and to develop tools to use native fish species as markers of environmental health.