Sunday, June 3, 2018

Week 9 - Group Research Projects Week 1
Monday, May 28
Memorial Day! No classes, but a few research groups started their research projects over the Memorial Day weekend.
Tuesday, May 29 through Friday, June 1
After a relaxing three-day weekend for most of the BI 450 students, group research projects commenced on a round-the-clock basis. Throughout the rest of the week, groups worked independently on various research projects. The projects were a little shaky at the start but the problems were ironed out as the week progressed. Most of the research projects involved research in the rocky intertidal region, the BI 450 laboratory, or in Yaquina Bay. Yaquina Bay, Oregon is a small drowned river estuary that contains various river channels, a slough, and tidelands. The main channel of the estuary is annually dredged starting between the jetties and continues toward the river mouth to a particular distance. Yaquina Bay experiences seasonal upwelling and downwelling events throughout the year.

Here is what all BI 450 students did throughout the week:
Andy and Nikki went out to various field sites looking for zonation patterns of Hemigrapsus nudus and Hemigrapsus oregonensis in the rocky intertidal region. In addition, they were comparing the two Hemigrapsus species to each other to observe if they compete with one another.
Nikki  in the rocky intertidal using a transect and quadrat
to look for zonation patterns of Hemigrapsus spp.
Hemigrapsus nudus perched on top of Mytilus californianus
Billie and Elizabeth conducted three temperature treatments on four species of coralline algae to determine how warming oceans affect turf algae in relation to ocean acidification.
Bleached Corallina vancouveriensis
Billie and Elizabeth's temperature treatments in the BI 450 lab

Alexa and Erica had many sleepless nights deploying and retrieving zooplankton light traps off of a dock in front of the Hatfield Marine Science Center. They were looking for a correlation between zooplankton diversity, tidal state, and the lunar cycle.
Erica holding up a zooplankton light trap on the dock in
front of the Hatfield Marine Science Center

Crab megalope larvae under a dissecting microscope
Andrew and Beth used Potassium Hydroxide to liquefy Nucella ostrina and Mytilus californianus in order to quantify the microplastics found within each species.
Beth and Andrew's experiment samples
Simone set up a feeding study to determine what Hermissenda crassicornis prefer to eat. While Alex ran a feeding study on Carcinus maenas to determine prey preference between whelks and Mytilus trossulus.
Alex's feeding experiment on Carcinus maenas in the BI 450 lab
Throughout the week, Kris and Caroline got up at the crack of dawn to conduct community surveys on fish species found in both the invasive eelgrass Zostera japonica and the native eelgrass Zostera marina.

Sydney and Milan looked at chaetognatha abundance at various locations along the West Coast using old NOAA trawl samples. While Bri and Lisa tested the aggression level of various crab species in response to the presence or absence of female pheromones.

Bri holding a male Cancer magister in Yaquina Bay, Oregon
Bucket full of Cancer magister and Cancer productus
By the end of the crazy and tiring week with many sleep deprived students, we had reached the mid-way point of the research projects and nearly all experiments were concluded.

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