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Parallel Lines


EXploration, TRanslation and Application of Chemical records in fish Tissues

What is EXTRACT?

EXTRACT is an informal network that anyone can join who uses or is thinking about using the body tissues of fish and other aquatic animals to find out more about their past. Some of us use soft tissues to understand contaminant exposure and diet histories, some of us use tissues that grow sequentially in layers forming 'biochronologies', like otoliths, eye lenses, scales, shells, statoliths, etc. We typically measure the tissue chemical composition (e.g. isotope ratios) to reconstruct an individual's diet history, movements, and/or physiological condition, and count and measure their growth rings to reconstruct their age, growth rate and life-time changes in condition. We then use this information to better understand the habitat needs and vulnerabilities of different species and populations (both past and present) to stressors in order to predict how they will respond to global change and to help inform management and policy.

Long term EXTRACT objectives:

  • Community | Creativity

    • international community to share new ideas, methods, samples and code.

  • Innovation | Mentoring

    • online and in person workshops to share skills

    • options to share instruments and facilities

    • network for researchers at any career stage to learn new techniques

    • cross-institution mentoring

    • professional development

  • Funding | Growth

    • develop international, interdisciplinary grant applications to fund novel research, grow capacity and build new facilities.

  • Outreach | Application

    • working with stakeholders, managers and policy makers to share skills and scale up tools for widespread use.


But we are just starting out, so for now please just join the community by subscribing below (we promise not to email more than 4 times a year, probably less) and exploring the forum. Here, our main goal is to keep updated with the best products available and to have an open and non-judgemental forum for you to ask and answer questions (e.g. What is your favourite epoxy resin and why? Could you share your favourite R code for population assignments?), but also to share your news and announcements!


Also, if you also think these structures are as beautiful as we do, please share your favourite photos in the gallery!



otolith sturrock.jfif

Ask questions! 
Say hi!
Share a pic!

Otoliths and other biochronological structures are often incredibly beautiful. Share your sci-art here and admire other's!

lens peeling Atlantic salmon.jpg


Join the growing community and subscribe here! We promise to send - at maximum - quarterly emails. 

Also use this message board here to share your thoughts here about what else you would like EXTRACT to do and what you this would be useful added to this site. 

I will also try to share exciting/interesting updates on my twitter page (@otolithgirl)

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