Mar Huertas, Ph.D.
Fish Physiology (BIO 4343/5443)
Vertebrate Endocrinology (BIO 4351A/5424D)
Aquatic Resources Seminar - Writing course (BIO 7102)
Current research at Huertas laboratory aims to understand olfaction in vertebrates using fish as a model. Fish have a highly sensitive sense of the smell which is involved in the control of critical physiological functions as reproduction, feeding, navigation, prey detection and alarm responses. Our different lines of research include basic research projects that seek to understand the olfactory process in vertebrates and applied research projects that target aquaculture practices and environmental management. To achieve our goals, we use several techniques that we have refined, including electrophysiology, steroid quantification, protein biochemistry (to investigate the morphology and physiology of elements of the hypothalamus-pituitary-gland axis), histology and molecular procedures. Our goal is to advance the understanding of the vertebrate olfactory process and provide new tools for managing of fish populations. The current lines of research in the laboratory include:
• Olfactory immune function
• Effects of nitrite in olfaction
• Effects of nanoplastic in olfaction
• Fish chemical communication
Miner, K.A., Huertas, M., Aspbury, A.S., Gabor, C.R. (2021). Artificial light at night alters the physiology and behavior of western mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis). Front Ecol Evol 9, 69.
Buchinger, T., Scott, A., Fissette, S., Brant, C., Huertas, M., Li, K., Johnson, N. and Li, W. (2020). A pheromone antagonist liberates female sea lamprey from a sensory trap to enable reliable communication. PNAS 117, (13) 7284-7289.
Sepahi, A., Kraus, A., Casadei, E., Johnston, C. A., Galindo-Villegas, J., Kelly, C., García-Moreno, D., Muñoz, P., Mulero, V., Huertas, M., and Salinas, I. (2019). Olfactory sensory neurons mediate ultrarapid antiviral immune responses in a TrkA-dependent manner. PNAS 116, 12428-12436.
Li, K., Brant, C. O., Huertas, M., Hessler, E. J., Mezei, G., Scott, A. M., Hoye, T. R., and Li, W. (2018). Fatty-acid derivative acts as a sea lamprey migratory pheromone. PNAS 115, 8603-8608.
Buchinger, T. J., Marsden, J. E., Binder, T. R., Huertas, M., Bussy, U., Li, K., Hanson, J. E., Krueger, C. C., Li, W., and Johnson, N. S. (2017). Temporal constraints on the potential role of fry odors as cues of past reproductive success for spawning lake trout. Ecol Evol 7, 10196-10206.
Buchinger, T. J., Li, K., Huertas, M., Baker, C. F., Jia, L., Hayes, M. C., Li, W. M., and Johnson, N. S. (2017). Evidence for partial overlap of male olfactory cues in lampreys. J Exp Biol 220, 497-506.
Bussy, U., Huertas, M., Chung-Davidson, Y. W., Li, K., and Li, W. M. (2016). Chemical derivatization of neurosteroids for their trace determination in sea lamprey by UPLC-MS/MS. Talanta 149, 326-334.
Brant, C. O., Huertas, M., Li, K., and Li, W. M. (2016). Mixtures of two bile alcohol sulfates function as a proximity pheromone in sea lamprey. Plos One 11.
Churcher, A. M., Hubbard, P. C., Marques, J. P., Canario, A. V. M., and Huertas, M. (2015). Deep sequencing of the olfactory epithelium reveals specific chemosensory receptors are expressed at sexual maturity in the European eel Anguilla anguilla, Mol Ecol 24, 822-834.
Huertas, M., Almeida, O. G., Canario, A. V. M., and Hubbard, P. C. (2014). Tilapia male urinary pheromone stimulates female reproductive axis. Gen Comp Endocrinol 196, 106-111.
Davidson, Y. W. C., Huertas, M., and Li, W. M. (2011). A Review of Research in Fish Pheromones, In Chemical Communication in Crustaceans (Breithaupt, T., and Thiel, M., Eds.), pp 467-482, Springer, New York.
Scott, A. P., Hirschenhauser, K., Bender, N., Oliveira, R., Earley, R. L., Sebire, M., Ellis, T., Pavlidis, M., Hubbard, P. C., Huertas, M., and Canario, A. (2008). Non-invasive measurement of steroids in fish-holding water: important considerations when applying the procedure to behaviour studies. Behaviour 145, 1307-1328.
Please see faculty member’s CV or website for additional information.