Projects began this week and students quickly showed great diversity in their selected topics. From the Danielles’ mapping of mud shrimp beds, to Shea’s experiment investigating the metabolic cost of podia loss in Pisaster, tank space in the lab rapidly became a precious commodity. After complaining of early starts in previous weeks, some groups now experienced 4 a.m. tides, with no instructor to blame for bleary eyes and copious quantities of coffee. Working on our own schedules allowed for frequent forays to and from the lab, at all times of night and day, with Caleb tending to his crabs every six hours.
Spearfishing moved from a hobby to an integral part of the research for some studies, and fish cook-outs became the order of the day. Biggest catch has to go to Wyatt for his massive lingcod, speared off the South jetty while looking for perch for his joint project with Kelsi. Sam, Aaron and Jack spent most of the week in their wetsuits also, as they surveyed populations of black rockfish.
Cameron, Alyssa and Brittany had some difficult moments running from waves at Boiler Bay while attempting to collect Leptasterias for their project, with Alyssa taking a plunge into the big blue.
Behavioural studies are well represented this year; with Becca looking at seal haul out patterns, Bekah and Alex observing octopus feeding habits and Matt looking at trait-mediated effects of Pycnopodia upon Strongylocentrotus.
Perhaps not as obvious as it seems, Shay and Emily considered the importance of the algal cuticle in desiccation rates between three Mazzaella species.
Jennie and Sarah were becoming well-travelled, as they notched up the miles between six study sites, comparing tidepool community structures along the coast. Kim spent hours in the field getting to know Pisaster, while looking at the relationship between feeding habits and varying color densities. Melissa, on the other hand, almost vanished from the social scene, becoming a lab rat and spending days with her microscope, searching for copepods to see the effects of ocean acidification. So, it's all go on the data collection, drawing everything together for our final week and bringing us ever closer to the end of BI450.