Showing posts from September, 2020

Song of the crinoid

"This is a song about a boy A song about a little boy and his cebus  A song about a little boy and his three cebus The little boy had a sick cebu, a sad cebu, and a mute cebu And also a hippo" - "Song of the Cebu" from the children's series Veggie Tale s It's been an interesting week in the lab. As some of you might recall, my intern, Mimi, spent her summer describing the larval development of stalked crinoids in the Arctic deep sea. She used specimens I had collected in 2017 along with my German collaborators, as part of a long-term experiment in the HAUSGARTEN . At the end of her internship, Mimi produced a final report, which I then turned into a publishable scientific manuscript: "Ontogenetic development in the Arctic deep-sea crinoid Bathycrinus carpenterii ." We were ready to submit to a journal - or so I thought.  Before we submitted the paper, I reached out to two crinoid experts to ask for their input. I figured they'd come back wit

Herbst am See

"Herbst am See                                        Autumn on the sea Wetterwende, kalte Hände                  Changing weather, cold hands Als ich mit dir am Ufer steh'"         As I'm standing with you on the shore - "Herbst am See" by The Wise Guys (translation mine) Friends, it is officially autumn. There was about a week earlier this month when the weather forecast showed progressively cooler and cooler temperatures each night, and now, we've settled into a classic New England chill. I never used to notice the changing seasons, you know. I was always traveling to different climate zones and messing up my internal time-keeper. I'd go to the Arctic in summer , the tropics in winter , and half the time, when I got home, I'd have no idea what season  it was at all.  Covid took all of that away. The pandemic is the longest continuous time I've spent at home in 10 years, and I can feel it. There are changes in my mental state (not for the b

Beach to beach

 A few months ago, I got an email from Brazil. It was a from a researcher who studies genetic patterns in gastropods (snails) and who was on the hunt for a few species from New England. He had collected the specimens he needed several years ago but lost them when Brazil's national museum (Museu Nacional) burned down in 2018 . I remembered reading about the fire when it happened and thinking to myself that it would take years for science to recover from such a loss. Now, I was being presented with an opportunity to aid in that recovery, so I told the researcher I would help. He gave me the name of the cove and the beach where he had collected the specimens originally. He described the habitat I should look for and told me to bring a sieve. The snails are tiny, so you really can't find them without one. I was excited for the adventure. My husband and I headed over to the cove, and I set to work. We were there at high tide, so I set about snorkeling close to shore, keeping an eye