Janelle Layton

Janelle Layton

What is your name and what is your role at the lab?

I’m Jannelle Layton, a master's student in the Heppell Lab.

What project are you currently working on?

I am currently looking at the impacts of increasing temperature on early life history stages of the critically endangered Nassau grouper found in Little Cayman, Cayman Islands. Considering the larval fish I work with are so small, I’ve enjoyed being able to look more closely at these fish in the lab.

What have you enjoyed most about working at the lab?

I really like getting the chance to see beyond what is visible to the naked eye — either through a microscope or through some of my genetics work — to better understand climate impacts on this species. 

How does your work at the lab impact the OSU community? How does your work impact the broader world?

Nassau grouper is an extremely important species ecologically, culturally and economically. Their connection to OSU has allowed several scientists, including myself, to grow and learn more about conservation. The species has impacted coral reef health as top predators, financial hardships as a valuable fishery, and family traditions as a cultural norm. Continuing research — like my project — has worked to help conserve and manage the species to uphold all of these important aspects. 

The lab is interested in continuing early life history work to better understand climate impacts on these life history stages. This includes genetics work, better understanding differences in morphology, species distribution modeling and more. We are also continuing to work with the leadership of the Grouper Moon program by REEF and the Cayman Islands Department of Environment for other projects.