Kate Rawlinson

Kate Rawlinson

Dept. Zoology, University of Cambridge/ Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Dr

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Published on Sep 05, 2019

September 2019 - AEFW life cycle paper - out now!

September 2019 - AEFW life cycle paper - out now!The Life Cycle of the AEFW and the effect of temperature on development rate and numbers.Here, at last, is our paper on the life cycle of the AEFW....

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Published on Jan 10, 2018

January 2018 - research up-date and introducing a new member of the team

January 2018 - research up-date and introducing a new member of the teamDr Jessica Goodheart (University of California, Santa Barbara), our newest member of the team (see her bio in the ‘team’ sect...

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Published on Oct 06, 2016

Up-date on AEFW experiments at AIMS.

Two weeks in and we’re up to our eyeballs in AEFW eggs and hatchlings!We’re running experiments to see the effects of temperature on AEFW development; time to hatching, hatching success and develop...

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Published on Sep 22, 2016

Hello from the Australian Institute of Marine Science!

AIMS is Australia’s tropical marine research agency, and the National Sea Simulator (SeaSim) here is a world-class marine research aquarium facility for tropical marine organisms in...

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Published on Sep 12, 2016

Collaborative visit to Australian Institute of Marine Science coming up……

Cat and I are going to visit our collaborators at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and James Cook University (JCU) in Townsville, Queensland, for 22 days of AEFW ex...

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Published on Aug 03, 2016

New collaboration started with James Cook University and the Australian Institute of Marine Science.

We are very excited to announce a new collaboration with a team of scientists from James Cook University (JCU) and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), Townsville, Queensland. The tea...

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Published on Jun 27, 2016

AEFW experiments - June 2016

Cat has had a very busy 6 months running two experiments; the ‘AEFW die-out experiment’ and a ‘Bio-control experiment, see the summaries below. She is also rebuilding the AEFW populations to contin...

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Published on Dec 04, 2015

December Lab Note

Hello,Cat has spent the last three months building up the two AEFW tanks after the worm die off this summer.She now has two good populations of AEFW and we are ready to resume the life cycle experi...

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Published on Aug 27, 2015

Summer news from the AEFW tank.... a 'happy' accident?

Cat has had an frustrating, but potentially exciting, time of late. The currently planned AEFW life cycle experiments have been delayed because of that, but this delay may prove to be amazing.She h...

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It is a dream lab in every respect and especially for this AEFW project! The people and technology running this place are incredible. There are worms and corals just off-shore, and the husbandry expertise and facilities here to culture them in large numbers. We look forward to bringing you new data from our visit but also over the next few years in collaboration with Jonathan and his advisors.
Sep 22, 2016
The Life Cycle of a Coral Killer: the Acropora-Eating Flatworm
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We're working on it Marc and will keep you posted throughout the trip........ nearly there ... sitting in Abu Dhabi airport!
Sep 14, 2016
The Life Cycle of a Coral Killer: the Acropora-Eating Flatworm
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Hi Pete, Thanks for making contact, send me an e-mail (kr413@cam.ac.uk) and I'll tell you where things stand. Cat wants to know if you can send her some of your AEFW to restock her tanks too! Best wishes, Kate
Sep 04, 2015
The Life Cycle of a Coral Killer: the Acropora-Eating Flatworm
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Hi Pete, Thanks for all your questions, I'll attempt to answer as many as possible. I'm afraid I don't have a very accurate timeframe for them reaching sexual maturity/ ~4mm in length. We haven't carried out this experiment yet, but other polyclad flatworms I've worked on can reach maturity within 4-8 weeks of hatching if there is a good food supply - they can grow quickly! Yes, I think AEFW will lay eggs on other substrates but if there is no food source (Acropora) in the tank then the hatchlings will die off within a day or two - this is what initial data suggests. I don't know if AEFW can feed of other SPS - not something we've tried yet. As for time to hatching, I think there is a lot of variation here; 21 days was at 25C, higher water temperatures would probably mean quicker hatching times. Also it appears as though some embryos hatch out before metamorphosis and others after leading to a difference of days between hatching times. Like other flatworms, egg laying will continue as they starve but the quality of the eggs will decrease with time. With the starvation experiment I meant that larger adults survive for longer than smaller ones, with the larger ones dying off by 15 days - sorry for the ambiguity. I don't think that sliming by the AEFW would protect it from the dip, but I think that any small juveniles living inside the coral skeleton may be protected by the coral tissue and it's mucous. Cat and I would like to test various treatments such as Levamisole and Praziquantel and this is something we hope to do in the future once we've answered initial questions about it's life cycle. Yes, I can see that basting the coral could spread AEFW of all sizes to other Acros in the tank, hopefully most would be eaten by fish but some, especially the smaller ones, could make it to other colonies. I hope this helps, lots of the answers are based on our initial experiments and observations, and from my experience working on other flatworms. We hope to give you more precise answers as the research progresses!
Jan 25, 2015
The Life Cycle of a Coral Killer: the Acropora-Eating Flatworm
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Not yet Marc, do you know where we can find some?!
Dec 23, 2014
The Life Cycle of a Coral Killer: the Acropora-Eating Flatworm
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Hi Lance, Thanks for the message and for offering more help from the hobbyist community, sorry it’s taken me a while to get back to you. Yes, fieldwork to understand the AEFW in the wild and to look for its natural predators is the next step. However for the moment we’re concentrating on unraveling its life cycle in reef tanks and incorporating this data into a working protocol for how to deal with them. Once we have this then we’ll look for ways to get out to Lizard Island marine lab (Great Barrier Reef, Australia) where we’ve found the AEFW on the reef. We will set up tanks to look at predator-prey interactions and hopefully find some vertebrates and invertebrates that feed on the AEFW. There is obviously something, or more likely a combination of things, out there keeping their numbers down, as we only found 2-3 worms per Acropora valida colony. This fieldwork is very expensive unfortunately - for a four week trip we’re looking at more than $15,000 (this includes flights, marine lab accommodation and bench fees, dive gear rentals and boat use), so funding for this might come from a combination of sources; government funding agencies, small granting agencies and possibly from crowd-sourcing too. We’ll let you all know when we start this fund raising process! Until then we’ll keep you all up to date with the life cycle experiments - it’s been slow recently, with no new data, as Cat is working very hard to set up a second Acropora tank. Thanks for your interest and support. Kate
Sep 16, 2014
The Life Cycle of a Coral Killer: the Acropora-Eating Flatworm
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Hi Cindy, I've just the material back to Halifax, NS and will start looking at the hatchlings under a powerful microscope soon - then I'll be able to post a few photos.
Apr 29, 2014
The Life Cycle of a Coral Killer: the Acropora-Eating Flatworm
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Hi Gary, Cat has already started experiments to see how long adults of different size classes can survive in the absence of Acropora, see her thread on reef central: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2346292. We are repeating these experiments to encompass the variation among lots of individuals.There is variation among the size classes, not surprisingly the largest ones can survive the longest, up to 14 days without food!
Apr 21, 2014
The Life Cycle of a Coral Killer: the Acropora-Eating Flatworm
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Thanks Felix
Apr 21, 2014
The Life Cycle of a Coral Killer: the Acropora-Eating Flatworm
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thanks Gary
Apr 16, 2014
The Life Cycle of a Coral Killer: the Acropora-Eating Flatworm
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Yes, thanks very much Craig!
Jan 27, 2014
The Life Cycle of a Coral Killer: the Acropora-Eating Flatworm
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Hi Craig, we will certainly let you know (and post on reef central) if we start another round of fund-raising. I'm sure these initial experiments will lead to many more questions.
Jan 27, 2014
The Life Cycle of a Coral Killer: the Acropora-Eating Flatworm
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