Showing posts from May, 2020

Born this way

"My mama told me when I was young We are all born superstars She rolled my hair and put my lipstick on In the glass of her boudoir" - "Born this way" by Lady Gaga A fertilized egg and a blastula As I'm going through my Arctic samples, I'm finding a number of embryos. It's super exciting for me to find embryos, not just larvae, because it means that means there are species spawning in the middle of the Arctic winter, in the polar night. A larva could be in the water column from a spawn earlier in the year (some larvae stay in the water column for months), but an embryo was most likely spawned hours to days before collection. What's super exciting is that many of the embryos look like they're the same species. They're all the same size and color, but they're at various stages of development. The youngest are eggs with fertilization envelopes but no cell divisions. Some of the samples are clumps of cells, either morula or blastul

Ghost town

"Nobody's cut out for this town...nobody sane anyway." - Rachel Caine in Ghost Town First time in the lab in months! I might be a little excited... I usually like being the only one in the building, but not today. The silence feels eerie, just another reminder of the unprecedented pandemic we're living through. That's right - I'm at work today. I received an exemption to enter my lab and work on some time-sensitive samples that had just arrived from the Arctic. You may recall that I spent two weeks in Svalbard in January . Three colleagues and I sampled zooplankton , sediment , and water column parameters to understand the influence of Atlantic water upwelling in mid-winter on the Kongsfjorden ecosystem. Well, those samples got stuck in Norway for a good 3 months (thanks, covid!) and were  finally  delivered to my lab last week. A larval snail, photographed using a dissecting microscope at 40x magnification Now that I have my samples, I'

Exploring by the seat of your pants

Friends, in case you missed it, I participated in a webinar last Friday with the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants. You can watch the recording here:

The science of shipwrecks

In case you missed it last night, here's the recording of the "Science of shipwrecks" webinar, presented as part of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution 's Ocean Encounters virtual series. Enjoy!

Upcoming webinars

Friends, I just want to remind you I'm presenting my research in two upcoming webinars for the general public. The information is below. Wednesday, May 6, 2020  |  7:30 - 8:30 p.m. EST The Science of Shipwrecks Speakers: Ocean Explorer  Robert Ballard  and WHOI Biologist  Kirstin Meyer-Kaiser Emcee:  Barbara Moran , Senior Producing Editor, WBUR Radio Environmental Vertic al There are an estimated three million shipwrecks across the seafloor.  These sites provide important insight into human history and culture. They are also home to rich ecosystems of interest to marine scientists. Renowned explorer Dr. Robert Ballard and WHOI scientist Dr. Kirstin Meyer-Kaiser will provide a fascinating overview of some of the many, surprising facts that can be learned from shipwrecks. Register now. Space is limited. Register for the webinar Also on  Facebook Live Connecting You to America's Ocean and Great Lakes Treasures C