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.