Hey I’m André, a young biologist who works on the research of sexual differentiation and reproduction of sturgeons endangered species. My goal is to help the conservation of these species and to create awareness about the disappearance of other species because of bad human decisions. Let's create a better world through conservation. Ask Me Anything! #AskMeAnything #AMA #Nature #Conservation

Jun 18, 2017

Why is conservation so important? Let's talk about it, you're all invited :)

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Why Sturgeon?

Jun 19, 7:45PM EDT0

Of all fish going extinct, why did you choose the sturgeon?

Jun 19, 1:33AM EDT0

hey guys, I'm right here, so #AMA

Jun 18, 9:55PM EDT0

How is your study of sturgeon biology related to saving the species?

Jun 17, 10:57AM EDT0

Hi Paul, I do research about how sex differentiation occurs in sturgeons, which is a critical step for controlling sexual reproduction in fish species. If we can know which genes are critical for their differentiation we will be able to make controlled reproduction of different sturgeon species, a first step for increase their populations and if we are lucky to restock rivers.

Jun 18, 1:24AM EDT0

What criteria are used to place an animal on the endangered list?

Jun 17, 7:18AM EDT0

Hi, just statistical criteria. Some organizations like IUCN do sampling and compare new data with the old one. The decrease in the number of animals of specific specie could be enough to place it in the endangered list

Jun 18, 1:28AM EDT0

What is your essential gear for conducting field research?

Jun 17, 12:48AM EDT0

hi gary, well, you always have to wear the right clothes, boots are essential because you spend lot of hours wet. Besides that, I only need a castnet, a notebook and a pen, some anesthetics, dissection tools and liquid nitrogen to preserve the biological samples.

Jun 18, 1:36AM EDT0

Are freshwater fish in greater or lesser danger than saltwater species?

Jun 16, 9:49PM EDT0

Hi rick, it hard to know it, there are much more fresh water species, and some of the worst threats as contamination occurs more strongly in rivers, but overfishing cause more damage to saltwater species. In summary we have to help all fish species.

Jun 18, 1:42AM EDT0

How can we encourage people to volunteer time for wildlife causes?

Jun 16, 3:44PM EDT0

Hi mary, the best way to do it is divulgating real information about what is happening to different species. We have to be critic and to know that one person can't help all the species, so if you get focus in one specie and you divulgate it's story, you are going to influence lot of people to help that specie. Some else will do the same for another specie, but the only way to do it is trough communication.

Jun 18, 1:50AM EDT0

Do you think cloning is an option to save endangered species?

Jun 16, 12:21AM EDT0

Hi Levi, nice question, I think cloning is a good tool for a first step to save some endangered species, but then sexual reproduction it's a must, because if don't you will never have genetic variability, and the specie will not be able to survive anyway.

Jun 16, 11:08AM EDT0

How is conservation of fish species actually practiced?

Jun 15, 8:04PM EDT0

Hi Michael, Conservation of fish species is generally practiced by investigation centers and carried out by scientists. Of course there are aquariums that help to this purpose, and do a lot of divulgation about the topic. Some organizations like IUCN works a lot on conservation of a big number of animals, including endangered species of fish. But it's hard to do it because fish don’t have the same acceptance that other animals like mammals have, and to obtain funds is more difficult.

Jun 16, 11:17AM EDT0

Have any fish species been brought back from the brink of extinction?

Jun 15, 5:06AM EDT0

Well yes, you know, some of the sturgeon species have had a great recovery, but some years ago they were almost extinct.

Jun 18, 1:57AM EDT0

What is the best way for teachers to teach about animal biology?

Jun 15, 1:43AM EDT0

Hi Sheila, I really think that the best way to do it is with animal models, boys get excited when they are able to see what you are explaining to them. If you can show them a fish, a spider or a bird while teaching them, they get more involved and they learn a lot more than reading only from books.

Jun 18, 1:55AM EDT0

What is your favorite thing about doing field research?

Jun 14, 3:53PM EDT0

Hi sharon, my favorrinte thing about doing field research is that you can spend all day working outside, and you will never have an identical day to another. Generally you have lot of things to resolve in the moment because you are working in the middle of nowhere, but that makes it more interesting. And other great thing about that, is that generally you do field work in group, so you can have some fun time with yours colleagues.

Jun 14, 4:23PM EDT0

What is the role of government in animal conservation?

Jun 14, 1:24PM EDT0

Well that depends on where you are living and the political measures they want to carry out in the contry. I think conservation politics would be required for flora and fauna, even more when scientific works are showing us that there are critical environamental isues. But it's very difficult to have agreement of all governments, as you can see obama's policies were much more ecofriendly that those applied by Trump.

Jun 14, 4:40PM EDT0

Is extinction of fish species occurring at greater rates than other animals?

Jun 14, 8:39AM EDT0

Well I really don't know exactly the number of fish species that disappear each year vs other species, but I can tell that depending the region, fish species that disappear can be greater while comparing to other animals. In jungle region there is more birds, mammals, and insects extinction but in region where there are lot of rivers and a high density of population fish extinction can be high.

Jun 14, 4:53PM EDT0

Who is responsible for raising awareness about species extinction?

Jun 14, 12:19AM EDT0

We all are, everyone of us has a role. Scientifics have to research and get information; governments have to promote conservation, and as individuals living in a community we have to learn about it, talk about it, and take initiatives.

Jun 14, 5:09PM EDT0

How does ethics guide your professional life in the sciences?

Jun 13, 11:01PM EDT0

How do zoos play a role in animal conservation and education?

Jun 13, 5:50PM EDT0

I don't love the idea of having enclosed animals like happens in zoos, but after all, I think they are a good way to educate people and to get the respect that animals need. Most of people that kill animals is because they get frightened when the creature appears in front of them and how they don't know nothing about them they kill it. Here I see that situation very often with snakes.

Jun 14, 5:23PM EDT0

What is the role of fisheries in conservation of fish species?

Jun 13, 4:34PM EDT0

Hi kary, well overfishing is one of the principal threats for fish, so the control of fisheries and the respect of the fisheries norms are essential for the conservation of commercial fish species, happily since last year the situation is getting better because of the fish-farms development

Jun 14, 5:31PM EDT0

Do you think bureaucrats or scientists should make decisions about the environment?

Jun 13, 3:20PM EDT0

Sure I do, but you know, even after get scientific results it's hard to do bureaucrats take decisions, and that's because mostly of time they don't want to assume political costs. They prefer to don't do anything until the situation gets critical, but conserve their votes.

Jun 14, 5:40PM EDT0

What are the challenges of working as a biologist?

Jun 13, 3:16PM EDT0

Hi, there are lots; you have to work lot of hours at the field and in the laboratory so you have to know lot of techniques. You have to know how to capture animals and how to do molecular experiments too. Read lots of papers is a must. Competition in science is very hard so you have to try always to be the best one

Last edited @ Jun 14, 5:57PM EDT.
Jun 14, 5:56PM EDT0

Can you name some of the most famous biologists?

Jun 13, 1:30PM EDT0

I would love, the most famous Charles Darwin, but there are others...

Louis Pasteur (pasteurization)

Alexander Flemming he discover penicillin

Rache Carson famous conservationist

James Watson and Francis Crick, they discover the DNA structure.

Lynn Margulis evolutionist

Jeff Corwin (Animal Planet tv show) & Jeremy Wade (Discovery channel tv show)


Jun 14, 6:11PM EDT0

How do you make animals like sturgeon appealing to the public?

Jun 13, 11:45AM EDT0

Hi Robin, Ithink going to congresses and giving speeches, that's the principal way to do it, and showing pictures of them, they are lovely, but lot of people don't know them.

Jun 14, 6:17PM EDT0

What are your personal favorite wildlife and environmental organizations?

Jun 13, 10:47AM EDT0

The best one I think it could be the IUCN, I'm not very involved with environmental organizations, but I kwon that another organization that works very well is "proyecto Tamar", involved in the conservation of marine turtles

Jun 14, 11:17PM EDT0

About how many fish species are currently endangered?

Jun 13, 10:04AM EDT0

Hi Dawn, that's a very difficult question.....  I think it was something like 35% of freshwater fish species. For marine species I found the NOAA FISHERIES data that says that in the US jurisdiction zone there are over 157 endangered species. 

Jun 14, 6:27PM EDT0

Do you use any tech tools for note taking in the field?

Jun 13, 8:19AM EDT0

hi, Sometimes when you know that you are going to a dry place, like if you are going to be working in a fishfarm, in that case you can take a computer with you. Personally I prefer a pencil and some papers and then pass all data to the computer.

Jun 18, 2:13AM EDT0

Who regulates the practices of the fishing industry to prevent over-fishing?

Jun 13, 3:56AM EDT0

each governement do it, but it is not enough, in general they don't do it right.

Jun 18, 2:08AM EDT0

Who are some of your favorite science authors?

Jun 13, 2:56AM EDT0

I have two authors that make blow my mind; the first one is Darwin, and the second one Carl Sagan.

Jun 18, 2:15AM EDT0

What is the job description of an animal biologist?

Jun 12, 10:34PM EDT0

Well an animal biologist does lot of things..... but his work is to do researching about animals. However his research field can be physiology, ecology, taxonomy, conservation biology or others....  It is a very broad discipline

Jun 18, 10:04PM EDT0

How has technology changed the working lives of biologists?

Jun 12, 6:13PM EDT0

Yes sure, and I could say that it has changed a lot. If you read some scientific work from the 80's you can't believe all the work that scientists had to do to make something that today it takes you a couple of hours in the lab, and in some years that will happen to us...

Jun 18, 2:20AM EDT0

What important discoveries have been made in animal biology recently?

Jun 12, 2:42PM EDT0

Hi, every year hundreds of species are discover, and that is a huge, but I think that one very important advance is that we are starting to get a very big amount of information because of the genomic science evolution, and that information is revolutionizing our present knowledge of animal biology.

Jun 18, 2:05AM EDT0

Do you have a favorite book about animal conservation?

Jun 12, 2:36PM EDT0

Hi, well no, I read a lot but I don't have a favorite one. I remember I've loved The book CURTIS about general biology from my first school year....

Jun 14, 5:48PM EDT0

Are there any international organizations that help combat extinction of fish?

Jun 12, 12:53PM EDT0

Hi leah, the IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, is an organization that is doing hard efforts for fish an other species conservation. I think is the best organization, others are not very clear about how they work...

Jun 14, 5:45PM EDT0

Do you have a favorite book about animal biology?

Jun 12, 12:43PM EDT0

I think a good book about general biology, and animal biology is the one named "CURTIS", I remember that I've loved it when I studied from it in my first year at school

Last edited @ Jun 18, 10:51PM EDT.
Jun 13, 12:07PM EDT0

How did you happen to choose biology as a career?

Jun 12, 10:36AM EDT0

Well I really always had passion about animals and biology. When I grew up I discover the researching field and I decided that I wanted to do biology researching. So, it was an easy decision for me. :)

Jun 13, 12:05PM EDT0

What are the biggest culprits in extinction of fish species?

Jun 12, 9:33AM EDT0

The biggest problems are hunting, deforestation and therefore loss of natural habitat, overfishing, pollution and different constructions that cause problems to different species. Roads are a big problem, in some countries good solutions have been found constructing natural corridors over them; dams are also a big problem for fish that can’t reach for example their spawning spots.

Jun 13, 11:56AM EDT0

About how many fish species become extinct each decade?

Jun 12, 8:49AM EDT0

Hi Stacy, well your question is very difficult to answer since we do not even know how many species actually exist. What I can tell you is that ecology and conservation experts calculate that the current extinction rate is about 1000 times greater than it would be if there were no human interference. Unfortunately thousands of species are extinct every year.

Jun 13, 11:49AM EDT0

Why should ordinary people care about the fate of the sturgeon?

Jun 12, 5:58AM EDT0

hi Michelle, you know, we have to care about all wild life, sturgeons specifically are incredible creature living on the planet since more than 150 million years, and now they are near to disappear. If we don't do something about endangered species, shortly it will be common to talk about extinct species, and biodiversity will be damaged.

Jun 13, 11:37AM EDT0

How can we encourage kids to get excited about STEM curricula?

Jun 12, 5:32AM EDT0

Hi andrew, well we have to do a hard work for showing them that those topic aren't so hard as they seems to be.... kids sometimes get frustrated, we have to find a way to teach and entertain them. For more little kids, games are the best way to encourage them, for teenagers I think that the way is to find interesting topics and do open discussions, generally they love that. Scientific curricula are today the future for our civilization and we need more professional in those areas.

Jun 13, 11:27AM EDT0

How do you gain a reputation when working as a biologist?

Jun 12, 4:32AM EDT0

Hello James, to gain reputation as a biologist you have to do a solid scientific work, and it is absolutely mandatory to write papers and publish them. If you are able to publish them in international journals of greater prestige even better, but the important thing is that those results become public for the scientific community.

Jun 13, 11:11AM EDT0