The time is zooming by so fast; I am starting to lose track of our days here. It seems like only yesterday was our first day here and now we are already in week 6!
This past weekend all the REU interns and I went to the Hatfield Marine Science Center and the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Although the Hatfield Marine Science Center is popular and usually full of tourists, we had the chance to go behind the scenes.
Α master’s student at the Hatfield marine center lead our tour; our first stop was a hallway full of posters dictating the center’s history. We saw the changes that were made as time progressed through a hallway of aerial pictures. We learned that the center is actually owned and operated through Oregon State University. This center’s resources are so sought after, that there are several governmental agencies that work there. This is all due to biodiverse habitat of the marina. Next, we visited the labs, classrooms, and the library. Finally, we met up with the REU interns from Hatfield for an ice cream social. They were all really interesting and the ice cream was great!
Last week, I had a lot of trouble raising cultures of starfish, sand dollars and sea urchins, due to little mistakes that I kept making and an influx of bacteria in the cultures. This really stalled the progress of my tracking development of my partial larvae. Although the bacteria has remained a problem, I decided to add more antibiotic to my cultures and to change their water sooner. These changes allowed me to finally grow a successful culture of the sand dollars.
This week I also attempted growing some cultures of jellyfish, Clytia gregaria. In order to have a successful spawning of eggs and sperm, the organisms need to be freshly caught; this will also facilitate fertilization. However, this week I could not find my organisms. I did catch several Beroe gracilis. These jellyfish are mostly transparent, but they generally have a pink hue. Their food source are other jellyfish like Pleurobrachia, or Bolinopsis. They have 8 comb rows and are quite fast at swimming. In my experience, they are pretty elusive; they are slimier than the other jellyfish I have worked with and whenever I try to catch them they slip away! Here is a video of the Beroe gracilis in natural sea water.
I recorded a high-speed video of a 10 day old sand dollar larva trying to capture Rhodomonas, their algal prey. In the video, the algae is escaping the mouth of the larva.
Hi! My name is Kostantina Orselli and I am transferring to California State University of Northridge. My interests include hiking, kayaking, playing with my dog, hanging out with friends, watching movies and more. I am ecstatic to be experiencing this opportunity at OIMB!