We had another exciting week over here at OIMB. On Saturday our grad student MacKenna took us crabbing off of the boathouse dock. We loaded the crab rings up with some fish scraps and tossed them in. Over a few hours we caught several dozen red rock crabs. The ones we kept we brought back to the kitchen and MacKenna taught us how to clean and cook them. To no surprise they where delicious! Later that night my family flew in from California and rented a cabin on Tenmile lake. It was wonderful to be able to see them for a while. I got the chance to show them the beautiful Oregon landscape and all the cool things I’ve been working on over the last few weeks in the Emlet Lab.
As the week began it came time for us to present our research project proposals. Working on the proposal was helpful for organizing my ideas on paper. I have now decided that along with the molting study, I will also be looking at the sinking rates and swimming behaviors of the nauplii. One of the interesting physical characteristics of parasitic barnacle larvae is the presence of what has been described as a flotation collar. The flotation collar is a fluid filled ring that wraps around the larvae, it is shed and is regrown with each instar. Its exact purpose is not definitely known, but I have hypothesized that it has something to do with energy conservations. Since parasitic barnacle larvae do not feed at all they must be very efficient with whatever energy stores they are born with. By closely observing things such as their sinking rate and swimming behaviors, I may be able to better understand the collars role. In addition to this I have also worked on a better culturing technique for growing my barnacle larvae. To house the larvae, I cut the bottoms off small plastic beakers and replaced the bottoms with fine mesh that will allow water to pass through but keep the larvae inside. The containers allow me to move the larvae to be examined without having to handle them as much. It was also really interesting to hear everyone else’s projects in detail. It seems like everyone is working so hard and learning a lot on their topic. I’m excited to see how they all turn out at the end of the summer.
Friday we all hit the road to Eugene to visit UO main campus. We got a tour of the biological science labs at UO and got to take an inside look at some of their work. I got really excited in one of the labs that where working on the genetics of stickleback fish. They showed us their storage room which they had hundreds of live fish they where using for study. It was a very impressive set up.
On our day off we decided to end the weekend at the sand dunes. We didn’t have much of a plan and ended up a little lost. Fortunately a kind stranger directed us to a lake that was at the base of a enormous sand dune! We found it eventually and WOW! It really was enormous. We had a great time there together swimming in the lake and exploring the dunes. It amazes me how diverse Oregon is.