That's not how it works.
|The barnacle Hesperibalanus hesperius on my plates,|
magnified 16 times
Friends, I bring up the lengthy time-line for scientific analyses to introduce and remind you of one of my own long-suffering projects. Does anyone recall my Cape Arago barnacle project? If not, I'll remind you.
It started in 2014. I built homemade moorings out of ready-mix cement, attached settlement plates to them, and dropped them in the ocean at varying distances from a rocky reef on the southern Oregon coast. I had all sorts of elaborate hypotheses, but in the end, really only one species of barnacle recruited to my plates. The project suffered from all sorts of logistical issues, made me the most seasick I've ever been, and was frustrating at every turn. I made a bit of progress by looking up the larval forms for each of the species that recruited to my plates, but even that was just a qualitative analysis. I wasn't sure if my hard-won data would ever be publishable.
|Dense barnacle recruitment on a settlement plate. The brown|
dots are a snail, Astyris cf. aurantiaca.
This, my friends, is the value of scientific collaboration. Someone from a different discipline may have a completely new perspective on your data, and you never know what you can learn from them until you ask. With Y's help, I finally have enough material for a publishable manuscript. My barnacle project now makes a solid contribution to our understanding of nature. It is long-developing but cross-disciplinary. It is built like Rome.