Nicholas Sakich

Nicholas Sakich
Brock University · Department of Biological Sciences

Master of Science

About

3
Publications
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13
Citations
Introduction
I'm a Canadian zoologist. My academic interests are broad and include, in general terms, physiology, ichthyology, herpetology, entomology, and evolutionary biology. I have specific interest in how populations evolve in the face of changing environments and how anthropogenic changes impact evolution.

Publications

Publications (3)
Article
Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light has both physiological benefits as well as costs. Many lepidosaur reptiles can behaviorally self-regulate their exposure to UV light in order to take advantage of the benefits of UV light while minimizing the costs. Furthermore, lepidosaur scales have been conceptualized by some as a barrier to the penetration of...
Article
Whether scales reduce cutaneous evaporative water loss in lepidosaur reptiles (Superorder Lepidosauria) such as lizards and snakes has been a contentious issue for nearly half a century. Furthermore, while many studies have looked at whether dehydration affects thermal preference in lepidosaurs, far fewer have examined whether normally hydrated lep...
Article
Full-text available
Electric fish handling gloves (FHGs) have been developed to immobilize fish during handling, with the potential benefit of reducing the time needed for sedation and recovery of fish relative to chemical anaesthetics. We examined the secondary stress responses (i.e., hematocrit, blood glucose, lactate, and pH) and reflex responses of Largemouth Bass...

Questions

Questions (6)
Question
Hi Everybody,
I need ideas on methods which could be used to mark small shrimp (approximately 3 cm total length) for the purposes of identification of individuals in a lab-based study. It doesn't need to be easily discernible on a camera, but it does need to be easily discernible if the shrimp were to be captured out of its tank with a net and examined. I was going to use nail polish, but now I've read that it takes a very long time to dry. The less invasive the method of marking, the better, and the simpler and cheaper the method of marking, the better. Thanks in advance.
Question
This is similar to a previous question I asked. I'm looking for some kind of chemical marker to use for an antibody test to determine where on a fish an unrecognizable sample of tissue came from. All the AMPs, etc. that my research has turned up so far are either pretty species-specific or are also present in the GI tract. Any help would be extremely appreciated.
Question
Basically is there any way you can think of to ascertain that a fish caught from the wild has been feeding on the slime coats of other fishes opportunistically without having observed its behaviour? Is it even possible? I suppose an antibody test of some sort might work but that would be expensive and time-consuming to create. This is an idea I'm hoping to incorporate into my potential future master's thesis.
Question
New question about a different (this one, merely hypothetical at this point in time) animal behaviour study. It would involve running a negatively phototactic and positively thigmotactic species of invertebrate through a maze in an escape trial (when the animal finds the "hiding spot" in the otherwise bright and open maze the animal is rewarded by being allowed to sit in there undisturbed for a while). The idea is to see if there is any evidence of learning the route to the "hiding spot" as the trial is subsequently repeated. However, the animal species in question is fairly expensive. What is the minimum sample size you would suggest for this study? Statistical power calculations generally require things that are unknown to me at this point in time, such as standard deviation of the data, and extrapolating from trials of mice run through mazes and rewarded with food seems potentially problematic to me, so I thought I'd ask researchers that have experience in running these type of trials. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Question
Some of my peers and I are conducting a study of the preference (or lack thereof) of experimental animals for feeding on larger or smaller food items in what is intended to be a test of Optimal Foraging Theory. As far as I know it has never been done with this species. We've whittled down our sample size to animals that are willing to eat our food items of choice (n=12), and we plan on doing 3 different variations of the experiment. Is this potentially publishable, or is the experiment too simplistic? Does anyone have any tips on how to make it more likely to be publishable?
Question
I have a dozen tanks in two rows on each table. I'm concerned that there may be a confounding factor of the location of the tank affecting growth rates of the fishes within (ones on the outer ends of the table aren't visually surrounded by other fish and only are surrounded by the fish in their own tank, whereas the ones in the middle are visually surrounded by fish in every direction). Might this affect their stress levels, and hence their growth rate? Also, the outer row of tanks hangs off of the table by a couple of centimetres. Another confounding factor I was considering eliminating by painting the outside of the tanks. Thoughts? Am I overthinking this?

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