Showing posts from December, 2020

Warmer in winter: part 2

"Windows frosted Summer's sleeping But I don't really mind" - "Warmer in winter" by Lindsey Sterling The setting sun between Water Street Kitchen and the Woods Hole Community Center Sunset panorama on Water Street, Woods Hole, MA High tide at Wood Neck Beach, Falmouth, MA   Low tide at Wood Neck Beach (same rock) Plovers (I think) on the beach Sunset from the WHOI pier

Warmer in winter

"Roads are closed Snow is falling But I don't really mind" - "Warmer in Winter" by Lindsey Stirling Seen in Falmouth, MA Seen in Falmouth, MA Snow on the beach Snow on the beach Frozen Crepidula fornicata on the beach

Battleship gray

 "Bit of a battleship gray day, eh?" I could hear Ed chatting with one of the forklift operators at the other end of the pier. He was right. The uniform gray of the sky matched the lead weights I packed into my buoyancy compensator jacket. A pile of snow melted slowly onto the concrete. The air was mild, not too humid, not too cold - kind of a metaphorical medium gray.  I didn't care. When there is a dive to be had, it could be the ugliest, grayest day in history, and I would enthusiastically spend all of it outdoors. You see, everything is different underwater, and if I had known how much I was going to enjoy diving into the sea , I certainly wouldn't have waited until my postdoc to learn how .  In my happy place. Photo by Kharis Schrage. As we descended down the line, I could feel my heart rate slow and my breaths lengthen as my mammalian dive reflex kicked in. My head and hands were awash in the frigid seawater, protected by think layers of neoprene, while the res

The fearless

 "Out of the dark, into the sun I'm in a higher state of mind A brand new start  I will transform into the fearless" - "Fearless" by Amaranthe Just a few barnacles on CATAIN's end cap.  Photo by Kharis Schrage. Friends, it is going to be a looooong winter. As covid cases surge in the U.S. and the days grow ever shorter, I am doing my best to stay focused on things that make me happy. Biking in the crisp morning air. Chocolate-covered cashews. Slanted afternoon sunlight on Eel Pond. And my favorite band's new album (see above).  This week, I got a chance to feel fearless. It's been 2 months since the last time we deployed CATAIN under the WHOI pier, which meant it was time to bring the camera back to the surface. I'm trying to get a continuous record of settlement over the course of a year, which CATAIN can do - I just have to charge the battery and download the data every 60 days.  CATAIN's electronic entrails. Here's the thing: it's

Hiding place

There's a little spot in the grass behind my lab that is completely hidden. It's shielded from Water Street by the Redfield building and from School Street by the bike shed. It's shadowy and poorly lit, so any passerby could easily miss a person standing there. But if you're in this little spot, you can see out all around you - to Eel Pond, to the Redfield lobby, to the parking lot, even the street. I like this little spot, because it makes me feel mysterious - I can see everyone, but they would never notice me. I don't know why I wanted to be hidden tonight. It's not like there was anyone around. But when the bells of St. Joseph's Chapel started chiming at 6:00 and I happened to be in that spot, I paused for a good long minute and listened. I felt the cold, dry winter air on my face. I noticed the small colored lights scattered across Eel Pond - blue on top of a boat, red and green on a restaurant dock. But mostly I paused, concealed in my spot, to apprecia

In print

It's always satisfying to see my work in print, and today, a new paper came out.  This paper concerns the swimming kinematics of larval snails. In 2018, a Mullineaux lab summer student, Brooke, conducted an experiment with  Crepidula fornicata  to see how larval swimming behaviors differ based on the presence or absence of food. Snail larvae use the same organ - the velum - for both swimming and feeding, so the trade-offs between these activities can influence how they're distributed in the water column, and by extension, how they disperse in ocean currents.  Crepidula fornicata larvae swimming in a dish, photographed using a dissecting microscope The paper's lead author, Michelle, has a background in fluid mechanics, so she brought this unique perspective to the larval swimming analysis. I worked with Brooke, Michelle, and the other authors to analyze and interpret the data, and I think what we found is pretty cool. Basically, when there's no food involved - larvae ar