Student Research Projects

Growth Rate of Limb Regeneration in Echinaster spinulosus Under Varying Temperatures

Student Breanna Dunn, '17
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department Biology
Course BIO 489: Research in Natural Sciences


The act of regeneration is when an organism can anatomically reform a part of its body after loss or severe injury. Regeneration in invertebrates has been documented in hydras, flatworms, annelids, arthropods and echinoderms. The regenerative body parts are typically limbs lost due to traumatic experiences such as predation. In echinoderms, limb regeneration enables them to survive by detaching the limb being attacked, allowing them to escape. The purpose of this research is to determine if the sea star Echinaster spinulosus displays a change in growth rate of limb regeneration at different temperatures. Limb regeneration of arm length and width as well as changes in morphology will be documented in specimens treated at three temperatures, 24, 30 and 12 degrees celcius. Each specimen will have 15 mm distal section of a limb removed. Measurements, arm length, width and central disk, will be taken every other day for 20 consecutive days. The wound site will be examined using the dissecting microscope to observe the scarring and regeneration. This research is a year long project with data collection commencing spring semester 2017.