Marine Science

Marine Science

Senior Theses 2007

Megan Guajardo (2007).  Thiamine concentrations in the egg yolks of bonnethead sharks (Sphyrna tiburo) and associations with fertility
Facility Advisor: Sally Spence & David Grove


Thiamine (Vitamin B1) is essential for development and survival of progeny of egg bearing vertebrates. Reductions in thiamine concentrations of egg yolk have been linked to diseases that cause low offspring survival rates in both fish and reptile populations. In this study, thiamine status of bonnethead shark (Sphyrna tiburo) egg yolk was examined to determine if thiamine deficiency is associated with the high infertility rate observed in certain Floridapopulations of this species. Thiamine concentrations of egg yolk were measured using a new, rapid solid phase extraction procedure. There were no significant differences in yolk thiamine concentrations in female sharks sampled during different stages of reproduction. Significant differences were observed in yolk of sharks from the Tampa Bay and Florida Bayestuaries, but thiamine concentrations were greater in the population with a higher rate of reproductive failure (Tampa Bay). No significant difference was observed between the infertile and fertile ova from Tampa Baysharks. These results suggest that thiamine deficiency is unlikely to be associated with infertility in S. tiburo.

Student Research

Given the close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and subtropical climate, the Tampa Bay region has a high concentration of marine research and academic institutions. Because of many local connections in the Tampa Bay area, a large number of opportunities are available to our students through government and private marine agencies and laboratories, public aquaria, marine conservation institutions, environmental consulting firms, and commercial aquaculture firms.

$1Mil Renovation Project

GMSL patio

The National Science Foundation awarded Eckerd College $870,720 to renovate research spaces within the Galbraith Marine Science Laboratory during the summer of 2011. Eckerd contributions to the project bring the total renovation budget to over $1 million. Learn more.