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Western Fisheries Science News, September 2014 | Issue 2.9

WFRC Hosts Visiting Scientists from Norway

Photos of visiting scientists from Norway
Meet visiting scientists from Norway -  from left to right, Dr. Jorunn Jøgensen, Arctic University of Norway (UiT; Tromsø, NK); and Drs. Maria Aamelfot, and Mona Gjessing, Norwegian Veterinary Institute (Oslo, NK). Photos by USGS.

WFRC is hosting visiting scientists from Norway this fall, Professor Jorunn Jørgensen, Dr. Mona Gjessing, and Dr. Maria Aamelfot. All three will be conducting collaborative research with the Fish Health Research Section at the Seattle lab.

Professor Jorunn Jørgensen (Ph.D.) is from the Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø and has chosen to spend her one-year sabbatical with us. Her research program in Norway focuses on aspects of antiviral immunity, host-virus interactions, and basic comparative immunology using Atlantic salmon as a model species. Dr. Jørgensen is also an expert on a number of globally important finfish viruses, including infectious pancreatic necrosis virus and salmonid alphavirus. At WFRC, she will be collaborating with the Fish Health Research Section on studies of anti-viral immunity. 

Dr. Maria Aamelfot (DVM, Ph.D.) is a researcher at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute in Oslo and is visiting Seattle-WFRC for three months as part of a post-doctoral research project on the infectious salmonid anemia virus (ISAV), the cause of major economic damage to Atlantic salmon aquaculture world-wide. Dr. Aamelfot’s research focuses on early stages of infection and the immune responses to low and high virulence ISAV. Her long-term goal is to better understand how the transformation of ISAV from low virulence to high virulence occurs. Dr. Aamelfot will be working with the Fish Health Research Section to process and analyze samples from a recent challenge study.

Dr. Mona Gjessing (DVM, Ph.D.) is from the Norwegian Veterinary Institute in Oslo and will be at WFRC for two months as part of a post-doctoral research fellowship. Her project is designed to increase basic knowledge about gill disease in Atlantic salmon – especially the exaggerated overgrowth of the gill epithelial cells that is so detrimental to the health of the animal. Dr. Gjessing is an expert on salmonid histopathology and she will work with the WFRC Fish Health Research Section to gain experience culturing fish epithelial cells.

The fish disease research program at WFRC includes a mix of basic and applied science focused on understanding the factors that control the distribution and severity of infectious diseases affecting both wild and hatchery fish. A strong feature of the WFRC is the application of the tools of molecular biology to this research including: construction of genomic libraries, cloning, conventional and next-generation sequencing, phylogenetic analysis, standard and quantitative polymerase chain reaction assays, microarrays, monoclonal antibodies, in situ histochemistry, recombinant DNA expression systems and genetic immunization. In addition, the WFRC has exceptional facilities to support in vivo research on infectious fish diseases and immunology using specific-pathogen-free stocks of several model species that include salmonids, zebrafish and Pacific herring that allow us to employ novel approaches to addressing basic and applied research questions involving aquatic animal health.  During the past decade, the fish health program has increasingly been applying these tools to research designed to understand the synergy among anthropogenic factors that affect the ecology of infectious disease in aquatic systems.

Welcome to the WFRC, Drs. Jørgensen, Gjessing, and Aamelfot! We look forward to a fruitful collaboration and future joint publications.

Newsletter Author - Debra Becker and Maureen Purcell



USGS Intern at Gilbert Ichthyological Society Meeting:  USGS, SISNAR (Student Interns in Support of Native American Rela-tions) intern, Laurie Porter recently presented a talk entitled, “Behavioral response of Pacific lamprey to predator odors” at the 26th annual meeting of the Gilbert Ichthyological Society from September 19-21, 2014, at the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest in Oregon. Information presented included preliminary data on the results of two-choice maze experiments and nighttime behavior patterns of Pacific lamprey.


USGS Scientist Receives US EPA Awards: USGS Scientist, Deborah Reusser receives two US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awards, (1) Bronze medal award for collaboration with US EPA - Office of Research and Development (ORD) - National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory’s (NHEERL) Pacific Northwest Estuarine Classification Team for compiling and synthesizing estuarine data and developing classification approaches for estuarine system response to environmental stressors; (2) Award for Exceptional Support to ORD - NHEERL for Assistance in synthesizing approaches to managing ballast water discharges, development of an atlas of nonindigenous species, and assistance in developing approaches to predicting climate vulnerability. 


USGS Manuscript Selected for “Virology Highlights Blog”: Kell, A. 2014. Superinfection fitness does not drive genotype displacement in fish rhabdovirus. Virology Highlights Blog, September 17, 2014. 

A New Publication Discusses Differences Between Great Lakes Isolates of VHSV Genotype IVb: Imanse, S.M., E.R. Cornwell, R.G. Getchell, G. Kurath. P.R. Bowser. 2014.  In vivo and in vitro phenotypic differences between Great Lakes VHSV genotype Ivb isolates with sequence types vcG001 and vcG002. J. Great Lakes Res. 40(4): 879-885. DOI: 10.1016/j.jglr.2014.08.004.

New USGS Report Assesses the Status and Dynamics of Populations of Two Endangered Suckers in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon: Hewitt, D.A., E.C. Janney, B.S. Hayes, and A.C. Harris.  2014. Demographics and run timing of adult Lost River (Deltistes luxatus) and shortnose (Chasmistes brevirostris) suckers in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon, 2012: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014-1186, 44 p.

New Publication Describes Study that Provides the First Molecular Evidence of Erythrocytic Necrosis Virus (ENV’s) Inclusion within the Iridoviridae Family: Emmenegger, E.J., J.A. Glenn, J.R. Winton, W.N. Batts, J.L. Gregg, and P.K. Hershberger. 2014. Molecular identification of erythrocytic necrosis virus (ENV) from the blood of Pacific Herring (Clupea pallasii).  Vet. Microbiol. 174(1-2): 16-26.  DOI: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2014.08.028.

USGS co-author on EPA Report Titled “Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) - New Functionality for Predicting Changes in Distribution of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation in Response to Sea Level Rise. Version 1.0”: Lee II, H., D.A. Reusser, M.R. Frazier, L.M. McCoy, P.J. Clinton, and J.S. Clough. 2014. Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) ‐ New Functionality for Predicting Changes in Distribution of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation in Response to Sea Level Rise. Version 1.0. U.S. EPA, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Western Ecology Division. EPA/600/R-14/007.

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