Week 2 at oimb
Hey Everyone! The last two weeks here at the OIMB have been fantastic. I knew I was excited for this experience but I had no idea how awesome it would be and its only been two weeks!
So! What’s it like being an REU OIMB intern? As you can see, there are 11 of us. Although we work in different labs, we spend time together at meals (the cooks here are fantastic; I love the meals) and in the evening. In our spare time, we often find ourselves wandering to the beach to walk or explore tide pools, playing guitar, having foosball competitions, playing volleyball (which we aren’t very good at), going on runs (not everyone runs, but I do and so do several others), or just talking. We are becoming good friends and I personally think this is a fantastic group of people!
As far as research goes…. If you see Nicole and me at random moments of the day or the week you might catch us on a spontaneous boat trip to try and find a larval trap that is proving difficult to pick up (where I also earned the nickname of Chuck even in only 2-3 foot swells); in the shop drilling, sawing, gluing, or sanding PVC pipe to make more larval traps; in the histology lab prepping brittle stars for microscope examination through a long preparation process; meandering to the boat docks to take pictures of critters that are growing there, or to collect specimens from fishermen; or bothering Craig. What exactly does that long list of random activities account to you may ask. Well Nicole and I are primarily working on two projects. Our first project (which involves the boat trips and shop) is to figure out if larvae of invertebrates disperse in lower levels of the water column (do we find microscopic baby sea creatures in the water near the ocean floor?). For our second project we are looking at the gonads (reproductive organs) of ophiuroids (brittle stars) from hydrothermal vents more than 8000 ft. below the surface of the Atlantic ocean.
It’s been an exciting week! This next week we are hoping to drop a couple of our larval traps and finish preparing our first batch of ophiuroids for the microscope. Should be a great week!
Hi. I’m Kaitlyn Beard from Orem, Utah and am studying Biology at Brigham Young University. I love running, hiking, violin, guitar, good food, and life! I love marine biology but don’t have a huge opportunity to study it in Utah. I applied to this program to figure out if studying marine biology is something I want to do for a career. I’m heading into my senior year and am thinking about graduate school so hope this will be an enlightening experience. I’ve been paired with Nicole Wegrzyniak and we are really excited to be working with Craig Young! During the first week we examined larvae from the plankton, learned about the reproduction of bryozoans, and used underwater photography to look for ecological patterns on the Charleston docks. We are designing an experiment to measure larval recruitment and larval supply at different depths in the water column. We also plan to study the reproduction of a deep- sea brittle star from hydrothermal vents in the Atlantic Ocean. I’m really excited for this opportunity!