Week 8 is coming to a close, and with that, so is the last full weekend here at OIMB! The week has been a sort of continuation of last week’s crunch to finish collecting data, analyzing it, preparing figures, and putting together a scientific poster for presentation next week. Then, suddenly, our posters are finished (aside from minor revisions), our projects has concluded, and we have a chance to ask ourselves: What now? For myself, the work isn’t quite done. We concluded that although none of the dietary treatments seem to influence overall growth (carapace width), they do have an apparent effect on the amount of time between molts. Each of the meat diets exhibited relatively fast molt intervals overall, while neither the algae nor fecal pellet diets had any molts to the third instar. While that’s enough information to present on, it isn’t quite satisfactory in terms of the initial question: what is the real difference between each of the diets in terms of growth? Can crabs molt at all on a diet of algae or urchin pellets? My lab and I are working on ways to carry on the project after I’ve gone home. We would like to monitor the crabs through at least one more molt, and then analyze their fatty acid profiles to determine how they differ between treatments. This may help current or future researchers to determine what types of foods are making up the diets of wild Dungeness crabs.
Aside from preparing for posters, we (the REU interns and the rest of OIMB) attended the annual Invertebrate Ball. Party-goers dressed as a variety of marine invertebrates, and participated in a runway-style contest that included awards for categories such as Most Anatomically Correct, LEAST Anatomically Correct (new category, created specifically for the “Muscle Bed” bros), Best Group Costume, Best “Strut,” and Best Pun. The costumes were amazing, and most were hilarious. Kaz, Kaitlyn, Leela, Nico, Elena and I dressed as a chain of salps, which are pelagic tunicates forming long chains of connected tubes. Though Salp-Squad had a well-coordinated group costume, it was hard to compete with Chiton-Crew, who won the Best Group Costume Award. We were awarded “Best in House.” It was a great time, and definitely embodied all of the good-natured, fun aspects of living at OIMB.
Realizing that we only have a week left together, the REU interns have been trying to spend as much time together as possible, and are trying to go to all of the places we’ve been meaning to all summer. On Saturday we explored Golden and Silver Falls State Natural Area, which features two gorgeous waterfalls that are fairly easy to access. It also happened to be the first time we had seen the sun in nearly two weeks. I feel very lucky to be involved with a group of such amazing people, and I’m looking forward to seeing where their careers and lives take them in the future.
Thanks for reading!
Hey, readers! My name is Zade Clark-Henry. I'm from Salem, Oregon, and I'm an undergraduate student majoring in Natural Resources at Oregon State University, with an emphasis ecological studies, specifically forest ecosystems and ecological restoration. I'm interested in all types of science, but especially life sciences, and within that I'm most interested in ecological interactions between organisms. My non-academic interests include playing music, hiking, camping, exploring, kayaking, reading, and drinking tasty espresso.