Showing posts from April, 2021

The hydroid paper

A young Bouillonia cornucopia I woke up to a nice surprise today: the paper I wrote about the Arctic deep-sea hydroid Bouillonia cornucopia has been published online! You can find it here in the journal Invertebrate Biology .  This paper has taken shape over the past couple of years. I first started noticing B. cornucopia in the Arctic in 2017 . After that, I collected samples opportunistically from moorings  until I had a couple hundred individuals. Very little is published on B. cornucopia because it's so rare, so I was able to learn a lot from my samples - how the species reproduces , where it settles, how it grows.  Perhaps our most important finding was that B. cornucopia is incredibly opportunistic. It's rarely found on natural substrata like rocks. Sometimes, it can settle on other animals, for example on the legs of a crab, but when an artificial habitat like a mooring shows up in the water, it goes nuts! It grows quickly and reproduces like mad. For decades, scien

I know you know

 "See the rivers flow Heading for the ocean I know that's where we belong" - "I know you know" by Ásgeir Ah, the beginning of spring. Temperatures jump up to a more tolerable range, days lengthen, and there suddenly seem to be birds everywhere. I must admit I'm enjoying it. As an extra bonus in 2021, people are getting vaccinated! I know and you know how big of a deal that is.  Earlier this week, I had a chance to start a new spring project. I'm trying to figure out whether an established technique (measuring carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes) can be used in a new way to reliably identify the diets of marine larvae. The theory goes like this: the higher up the food chain you are, the more heavy isotopes you accumulate. If you eat phytoplankton, you should have relatively low ratios of heavy isotopes, but if you're an apex predator, you should have pretty high ratios. People have been using stable isotopes to characterize the diets of marine species