The histological preparation of deep-sea brittle stars and midwater pyrosomes is progressing well, as we are almost done embedding the specimens in wax and slicing them into thin slices with a microtome (a machine that functions like the one that slices deli meat) to prepare them for viewing under the microscope. Soon, we shall investigate the reproduction of both, making the unknown known, which is quite amazing.
We did minimal work on the 4th of July and headed over to Sunset beach for a picnic with the faculty and students. With piles of delicious food to fill our bellies to their brinks, we had enough energy to play volleyball for hours. A traditional egg toss followed in which 2 eggs broke on me, causing me to smell like scrambled eggs for the entire day. The night ended with fireworks in Coos Bay over the water, creating a picture perfect moment, especially with a nearby child that was wooing in amazement with each firework.
Once again, a busy yet fun week at OIMB swam on by.
Hello! My name is Nicole Wegrzyniak. I am originally from the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, and I moved to Santa Barbara, California in 2015, where I attended Santa Barbara City College. In the fall of 2017, I will be attending the University of California, Davis, where I will be studying animal biology. I have desired to be a veterinarian ever since I was a child, and I continue to reach for this; I wish to open my own animal clinic someday, where I will happily help heal animals. While pursuing this dream, I have participated in many sports, clubs, volunteering opportunities, and whatever else I can in order to experience more and enhance my life. I enjoy gaining cultural intelligence through much travel, and I also fancy hiking, doing yoga, making crafts, and grocery shopping.
I applied to the REU program because it seemed like an intriguing and helpful program that would teach me professional skills and provide research experience while having fun with a topic I am greatly interested in: marine biology. I am excited to be working with Craig Young as my mentor and Kaitlyn Beard, the other undergraduate student Craig is mentoring. I wish to get a lot out of this experience, and already, within the first week this has been the case. I have learned how to collect larvae with a plankton net and how to identify some of the local invertebrate larvae. Furthermore, I have become familiar with how to rear larvae under optimal conditions in vitro as well as other helpful lab techniques. We are discussing possible projects that involve reproductive biology, larval development, and the ecology of deep-sea invertebrates. Specifically, we have discussed investigating the larvae at different depths of the ocean, gonad histology of deep-sea brittle stars or amphipods, and investigating the effect of larval predation on population distributions. I am excited to further plan these projects, to design the experiments and learn how to analyze data.