I spent nearly all week setting up my poster and playing around with different applications. Bringing it all together to display my summer research in a concise way was really a lot of fun for me! Learning how to get the results across to a broad audience with few words and space is difficult but incredibly important.
This week we also had the invertebrate ball where everyone dressed up as an invertebrate. Five others and me were colonial salps, so we spent nearly the whole ball velcroed together and dancing!
Kaitlyn and I managed to sneak in a few trips to the beach this week. We got out to Bandon, Bastendorff and Lighthouse beach. Somehow I hadn’t yet been to Lighthouse beach even though I’ve run and driven past it numerous times. I’m happy I made it there with 5 days to spare. I plan to visit it at least two more times this week because it might be my favorite beach nearby.
This week I’ve also extended my running mileage and made it out to Cape Arago from campus. Running around here has been such a change from the city streets of Seattle, so I’m making the most of the fresh air and ocean fog. Kaitlyn and I went on a long run this week and were gifted with a grey whale that came up the surface for us 8 times in a row! I’d say that’s not a bad way to start the day.
This week has been almost exclusively lab work. Taking a step back from the data I’ve collected over the last several weeks and finding the best way to share my project findings with the science community in and around Charleston. The last few days have been packed with repeating past experiments in order to build a stronger conclusion.
At the beginning of this week I was still experimenting with the nudibranch agar pellets. In the end I decided that dealing with the pellets was not the best use of my time. I ended up freezing a couple of nudibranchs and feeding small pieces to each of the 20 juvenile crabs. It was one of those times where you spend a little too much time making a decision only to settle on your first proposed idea. Nonetheless I learned a lot and got creative!
Analyzing my data has been very exciting! Piecing it all together and such. One thing that has been hard for me is accepting that I can’t focus on every little detail. There are many variables that come into play when setting up behavioral experiments, and I simply don’t have the time or experience yet to execute each and every one.
One highlight of this week was finding an unfamiliar nudibranch on the docks. Its scientific name is Polycera atra and one of its common names is sorcerer’s sea slug. Reyn Yoshioka, PhD student in Aaron Galloways lab took these beautiful dance shots of the little guy!
This Wednesday the guest speaker for the seminar was Robert Pitman who works for NOAA Fisheries. His talk was an overview of Killer Whales. Such as where they are found (Every body of saltwater- a.k.a. extremely widespread), the differences between three ecotypes (“a distinct form or race of a plant or animal species occupying a particular habitat”), and how and what they eat. Pitman apparently spends over half of each year at sea! Which only makes sense.
Many people will say that the best way to learn a new language is to immerse yourself into a community where that language is spoken. I’ve been at OIMB less than a week and already the amount of ideas, techniques, and information I’ve absorbed has exceeded my expectations, as though I am learning a new language to better grasp and comprehend science.