Alex Zimmer

Post-Doctoral Fellow

My post-doctoral work focuses on the mechanisms by which freshwater (FW) fishes absorb sodium ions from their environment. I am currently involved in a collaboration aimed at determining whole-transcriptome responses in the gills of zebrafish (Danio rerio) to low sodium and low pH acclimations using RNA sequencing. These two environmental stressors have been well-documented to challenge sodium uptake mechanisms in FW fishes, yet our understanding regarding mechanisms of uptake under these conditions is incomplete. The goal of our transcriptomic approach is to identify novel candidate sodium-transporting genes that are differentially regulated in response to low sodium and low pH exposures. In my research, I will also work with larval zebrafish to understand how specific ion-transporting cells (ionocytes) regulate sodium uptake and how water chemistry conditions, such as buffer capacity, alter sodium uptake rates.