Week 6 is over! This means there are only three full weeks left in the program. Soon, it’ll be time to get busy compiling data into coherent figures, and attempting to untangle and interpret our results. I had been concerned that because of the time constraints, I wouldn’t be able to get a full molt cycle in with my crabs, but many of them have already started molting into their third instar. Interestingly, the only crabs to molt thus far have been individuals from the meat treatments- black rockfish, crab, and razor clam. Neither the algal nor fecal pellet treatment groups have undergone any molting into the third instar, which is unsurprising given their lower fat and protein contents. In any case, it’s exciting to know that I will have information to work with, and hopefully it will be useful in improving our understanding of the diets of juvenile Dungeness crabs.
This week, Leela and I (with the oversight of our lab post-doc, Julie) began conducting some pre-tests for analyzing the nutritive content of each of the diets for the Dungeness feeding trial. We were working with algae only, just to get a handle on preparing these kinds of tests. We want to determine the protein, lipid, and carbohydrate contents of each of the foods to inform us about the quality of each as a food source. Hopefully, this will help us to make predictions about the effects of each on the growth of juvenile Dungeness. Setting up the tests feels very “science-y,” and actually involves a fair bit of chemistry, which got us to scratching our heads for a bit trying to work out some conversion factors for our protein analysis. It’s cool getting to see how the subjects we study in school are actually applied to our research projects.
I wanted to give a shoutout this week to the graduate students here at OIMB; each of them have been instrumental in answering our (the REU interns) questions, helping us problem-solve, and showing us new ways to approach our projects. They also took time out of their schedules this week to meet with us and give us the rundown on applying to graduate school, what we should expect, and tips on writing applications and getting letters of recommendation. It was a super open, conversational discussion that was extremely helpful to have. It’s been awesome to have them around, and to have their encouragement and the reminder that yes, research and grad school are hard and can be frustrating, but you aren’t alone, and nobody really knows what they’re doing anyways. So, thank you to Reyn, Zofia, Mike, Kara, Ella, Nicole, Alexa, MacKenna, and Carly for all of your help and guidance!
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.