About me and my research
My research investigates the physiological mechanisms utilized by animals in response to natural and anthropogenic-driven environmental challenges. A key area of my research interest is investigating the acid-base and ion regulatory physiology of freshwater and marine animals to understand the effects of climate change-relevant CO2 increases.
I completed my PhD at the University of British Columbia under the supervision of Dr. Colin Brauner where I investigated how vertebrates tolerate the very high CO2 levels (e.g. >30,000 uatm; 3 kPa CO2) found in many environments such as tropical freshwaters, aquaculture, and nests of reptiles. This work was conducted using over 20+ species of fish, as well as alligators and turtles. I then joined Fisheries and Oceans Canada at the Pacific Biological Station as a postdoctoral Research Scientist with Dr. Stewart Johnson to investigate the impact of toxins produced by blue-green algae (cyanotoxins) on salmon physiology, and the presence of algal toxins in the marine water of southern British Columbia. Following that, I took up a Mitacs Elevate Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Prince Edward Island to identify biomarkers of algal toxicity in salmon. I have also collaborated with Dr. Dan Baker at Vancouver Island University on white sturgeon physiology. Currently, I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Tyler.
email: rshartau [at] uttyler.edu