The working group began under the name of “Histology Laboratory” of the National Institute of Fisheries Research and Development (INIDEP). Our working group was renamed as “Reproductive Ecology of Marine Organisms” (ECOR) in 2015. The activities of ECOR group are currently enclosed in different research programs of INIDEP. We also participate in projects founded by other national and international organizations. Since the early 1990s, the tasks of this lab have been focused on the investigation of those aspects of importance for the evaluation of fishery resources. We use histology as the main research tool, and apply the obtained information in a context of population analysis. We have worked mainly on reproduction, since it is the biological process of major relevance in the renewal of populations. In this sense, during these years of research we have been able to determine aspects such as the reproductive dynamic, pattern of spawning, ripening process, reproductive potential and spatial and temporal delimitation of spawning process in more than 30 species of fish and marine invertebrates. Other related topics have also been studied, such as the pattern of energy distribution of reproductive females according to the annual cycle, and nutritional condition during the different stages of the life history of organisms. Currently, we are also conducting studies on reproductive physiology by the determination of hormones concentration, in particular in elasmobranch fish. In all cases, biological information is analyzed in the context of the physical environment, which allowed describing reproductive strategies of the species, to define variations in the spawning areas, the recruitment mechanisms and the processes of mortality associated with the oceanographic conditions.
In terms of the training of human resources, during these years the research group has trained numerous undergraduate and PhD students from the National University of Buenos Aires and National University of Mar del Plata. We also directed research scholarships founded by INIDEP and Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET). Moreover we have obtained grants from the “Fondo para la Investigación Científica y Tecnológica” (FONCyT) and CONICET, and participated in the evaluation of research projects, scholarships, competitions, career income of CONICET, promotions, peer reviewed international publications and participated in the organization of international scientific meetings.
General objective

Contribute to the knowledge of the reproductive biology of marine organisms, in order to evaluate the effects of fishing and environmental changes on the reproductive potential of the populations and their possible relation with the variability of the recruitment.

Specific objectives

To describe the maturation process and to determine the pattern of spawning of marine species from the macroscopic, histological, biochemical and physiological analysis of spawners.
To determine the spawning areas and the reproductive cycle of the species.
To characterize the reproductive areas based on oceanographic analysis.
To estimate the reproductive potential of the fish stocks.
To estimate length and age at maturity of the fish stocks.
To evaluate the egg quality from the proximal composition of spawners.
To analyze the larval condition using histological techniques and biochemical methods (RNA/DNA).
To analyze the effects of the fishery exploitation and environmental changes on the reproductive potential and recruitment of stocks.
To compare the reproductive strategies adopted by different marine species according to their life histories and physical conditions in the spawning areas.

– Reproductive ecology in marine organisms.
– Histology applied to the description and quantification of reproductive cells and larval tissues.
– Biochemical composition of tissues for determination of condition in fish.
– Reproductive physiology of fish.
– Nucleic acids determination as condition index in fish larvae.
– Population dynamic in exploited fish stocks.

Director
Dr. Gustavo Javier Macchi
Researcher CONICET
Researchers
Dra. María Inés Militelli
Researcher CONICET
Dra. Marina Vera Diaz
Researcher CONICET
Dra. Karina Andrea Rodrigues
Researcher CONICET