Keeping Pace: New Technologies for Estimating the Cost of Locomotion of Free-Ranging Paddlefish (Polyodon spathula)

Thursday, August 21, 2014: 9:40 AM
301B (Centre des congrès de Québec // Québec City Convention Centre)
Bryan Cage , Biology, University of Mississippi, University, MS
Advances in electronics are providing us with new and innovative techniques to monitor fish movements. However, such technologies are often too expensive and unaffordable to graduate student research. Fortunately, the advent of open-source microprocessors are providing a cost-effective means to not only target movements, but more importantly, to focus on locomotion and energy expenditure.

This research introduces a new device to study free-ranging paddlefish, providing an estimate of their swimming speed, behavior, and metabolic performance. It is an inexpensive alternative for graduate students to acquire ground-breaking data on a limited budget. The device can be assembled for less than $150 USD, and is supported by community forums and insightful tutorials. The device uses BlueTooth® technologies to connect with laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

Students and professionals will garner an introductory level of understanding of these technologies; thereby, finding the means to adapt these tools to their own research interests and experiments. The fundamental application of these tools will expedite the learning and understanding of the fish we study. As a community of researchers with a fisheries focus, these technologies can be a viable and growing foundation to the work of others and to the scientific community as a whole.