Abigail Bockus2018-12-06T19:27:08+00:00


Assistant Professor
Bockus lab website · ResearchGate

Education · Research Interests · Current Projects · Selected Publications


  • Ph.D., 2016, Biological and Environmental Sciences
    University of Rhode Island
  • B.S., 2009, Biology
    University of Kansas


The Bockus laboratory uses comparative physiology to address questions in two key areas: aquaculture production and biological oceanography. We are currently developing aquafeeds, feeding protocol, and environmental conditions for enhanced production of marine finfish. We are especially interested in advancement of commercial target species for offshore production in the Gulf of Mexico. Research in our laboratory is also focused on the physiological mechanisms driving species success and distribution. A variety of coastal and pelagic invertebrates, fishes, and sharks are used to examine adaptations to environmental parameters (such as temperature, salinity, acidification and hypoxia) and how these interactions affect metabolic performance and ecosystem stability. We use analyses from the biochemical to the whole-organism level to determine the regulatory, environmental, and evolutionary factors affecting physiological plasticity. This work also allows us to identify specialized adaptations for life in extreme environments.


  • optimizing dietary pH and feeding protocol for rapid postlarval grow-out of red drum
  • measuring the salinity tolerance of coastal marine species as it relates to the future viability of Louisiana wetlands as nursery habitats
  • determining whether hypoxia tolerance accurately describes distribution patterns around the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) dead zone
  • describing temporal restrictions on the physiological fluctuations of diel vertical migrators (e.g. mid-water fishes, crustaceans)


* manuscript available upon request

  • Bockus, A.B., Gaylord, T.G., Sealey, W.M., Yeoman, C.J. and Bearden, D.W. The use of dietary additives as a means of counteracting elevated temperature in rainbow trout: growth, efficiency and physiological performance. In prep
  • Bockus, A.B., Saba, G.K. and Seibel, B.A. Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba, exhibit resilience to elevated temperature and ocean acidification: acid-base balance and metabolism in response to climate change. In prep
  • *Bockus, A.B. and Seibel, B.A. Synthetic capacity does not predict elasmobranchs ability to maintain trimethylamine oxide without a dietary contribution. Comp. Biochem. Phys. A 217 (2018), 35-42. [pdf]
  • *Bockus, A.B. and Seibel, B.A. Trimethylamine oxide and Hsp70 regulation during acute temperature stress in elasmobranchs. In review
  • *Bockus, A.B. and Seibel, B.A. Ontogenetic osmotic shift in spiny dogfish, Squalus acanthias. In review
  • Bockus, A.B. and Seibel, B.A. (2016) Trimethylamine oxide accumulation as a function of depth in Hawaiian mid-water fishes. Deep Sea Res. I 112, 37-44. [pdf]
  • Deck, C.A., Bockus, A.B., Seibel, B.A., and Walsh, P.J. (2016). Effects of short-term hyper and hypo-osmotic exposure on the osmoregulatory strategy of unfed North Pacific spiny dogfish (Squalus suckleyi). Comp. Biochem. Phys. A 193, 29-35. [pdf]