Hello and thank you for stopping by!
My name is Lian Guo and I am an early-career scientist who studies the physiology and ecology of fishes. I aim to conduct research and outreach that will further conservation of ecologically or economically important fish species, like river herring.
To learn more about me, my research, or my outreach, click around and stay awhile! Feel free to contact me with questions, comments, or constructive criticism.
“But man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.”
― Rachel Carson
LIAN W. GUO
Organismic and Evolutionary Biology (OEB)
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Fish ecophysiology, thermal ecology, environmental toxicology, and human-fish interactions
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA NATIVE
I lived most of my early life in Southern California, where I gained a healthy appreciation for sun and the majestic Pacific Ocean. I chose to get a liberal arts education at Scripps College, where I studied the thermal ecology of intertidal barnacles. During summers I interned at Southwest Fisheries Science Center, where I fell in love with applied biological research. For graduate school, I was ready to experience a new place and new ecosystems, which is how I ended up in Massachusetts.
FISH ARE IMPORTANT FOR US AND NATURE
I can watch fish for hours. After watching Blue Planet and snorkeling with fish in the South Pacific, Galapagos, and Caribbean, I was hooked by their interesting behaviors and diverse morphology. As a 16-year-old, I took a summer Marine Management course, where I learned about numerous marine issues, including overfishing, ocean acidification, marine pollution, and shark finning. Given that fish provide 1/5th of the world's protein and are essential for healthy marine/freshwater ecosystems, I was shocked I hadn't heard of these issues before and that we weren't doing more as a society to improve the situation. I resolved then to work toward improved conservation and management of fish by 1) conducting applied scientific research and 2) spreading awareness of these issues though outreach and science communication.
AN OPPORTUNITY TO APPLY BASIC BIOLOGY TO INFORM CONSERVATION
While I knew I wanted to do research that would help conservation of fish species, my research focus took longer to develop. During my senior thesis, I became increasingly fascinated with the physiological adaptations that organisms have to survive environmental stressors, like high temperature or low oxygen. In applied ecology, we often look for trends in processes, rather than understanding the mechanisms that drive those trends. In my current research, I want to explore how fish physiology is affected by a range of ecologically-relevant temperatures under high and low food availability.
Our graduate student-run life science outreach blog shares a diverse array of stories about life science as well as engages in local outreach in Western Massachusetts. I am a co-founder, design committee member, and consistent writer/editor for the blog.
Once a month, we hold science cafes in the local community to bring together local researchers with non-scientists (and pizza!). This program has been run by Organismic and Evolutionary Biology graduate students since 2011.
I have been involved in a broad range of outreach events, from tabling at aquariums and fishing conventions for NOAA, to planning climate change-themed talks for a local Women's Group, to helping Girl Scouts complete animal habitat badges.
For a copy of my most recent CV, please use this PDF link.