Hello everybody! I have had yet another wonderful week at OIMB with the perfect combination of science and miscellaneous fun.
We have specified the larval project to look at the comparison of deep-sea and shallow water acorn barnacle larval development. The species of interest, Hesperibalanus hisperius, which is a deep-water species of acorn barnacle, was found in abundance on the ocean floor in the eastern Pacific (Meyer et al, 2017), formulating question of whether the species remains on the ocean floor throughout all of its larval instars or if the species travels at various depths in the water column during its larval development. Balanus glandula is a comparable species of acorn barnacle in the Pacific coast on North America that settles in the intertidal region. I anticipate that there is a correlation between depth of travel in the water column during larval development and settlement location/depth. Based on this prediction, Hesperibalanus hisperius and Balanus glandula both travel in the water column, but Hesperibalanus hisperius would descend to the ocean floor at an earlier instar or would travel at the ocean floor throughout all of its larval development while Balanus glandula would travel higher up in the water column. We will do the analysis of the specimens in 3 weeks when we collect the traps.
As the interns have weekly developmental sessions, this week’s was on jobs and internships. The session surely supplied me with many resources to find available jobs, internships, and research opportunities that correlate with my desired field of study.
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.