Showing posts from December, 2023

Textile art

Johanna's photo: high-tech crafting When I arrived at work this morning, my postdoc, Johanna, pulled up a photo on her phone to show me. Proudly, she held the screen up to my face and then started giggling. The photo was taken in WHOI's AVAST facility - a high-tech work space on WHOI's campus. AVAST stands for Autonomous Vehicles And Sensor Technologies, but the facility is meant to be a collaboration hub for all kinds of research and technology development. It's a very 21st-century, open-concept, community-use work space outfitted with 3D printers and test tanks. The high ceiling and garage-style doors let robotic undersea vehicles come in and out. There are several vehicles being worked on at AVAST right now - a mid-water vehicle that follows fishes and collects their DNA, a full-ocean-depth vehicle with sensors that can handle the pressure at 11,000 m deep, even a titanium sphere that I think belongs to the submersible Alvin . AVAST is by every measure a technologica

In the cracks

"There is a crack in everything That's how the light gets in" - "Anthem" by Leonard Cohen Friends, we are approaching the end of a calendar year, and I find myself feeling pressed. In many ways, the change of a calendar year is arbitrary, but I definitely have some projects that I don't want to carry over into another annum. The Porites spawning paper has finally been submitted. The zooplankton samples Sarah had been working on are done . Yet, I find myself spinning around, looking for something else I can accomplish before the year ends. I have to fill in the cracks between major projects with minor victories.  This electrophoresis gel shows my minor victory. On the left  side is a DNA ladder. Every band across the middle of the  gel represents a successful a DNA section that I will be able  to sequence. As you can see, I was very successful! Yesterday, I had a minor victory. In this gap between large datasets, I turned my attention to some mysterious A

And the Emmy goes to...

Friends, you might remember that the episode of Changing Seas that Kharis and I were featured in was nominated for a Suncoast Regional Emmy . The award ceremony took place this past weekend, and I'm proud to announce that our episode won! I am incredibly proud of our PBS partners and honored to be part of their award-winning work. You can watch Alexa Elliott and Jacquelyn Hurtado accept the award below.  If you haven't seen "Life in the dark: the polar night," check it out here:

Milestone passed!

Friends, we had an exciting day in the lab this week. After 3 months of solid work, sorting animals day in and day out, and countless hours sitting at a microscope, Sarah finished a dataset!  Sarah and I tracked her progress on the white  board, and we were both clearly excited to  update it when all sorting was finished! Photo by Johanna Weston.  You might remember that my lab is collaborating on a study with the Palau International Coral Reef Center. Our goal is characterize the biodiversity of zooplankton in Palau National Marine Sanctuary. PICRC staff collected net tow samples in 2022, I brought them to WHOI last spring, and poor Sarah has been analyzing them ever since.  There are so many species. Seriously. So. Many. Species. It's kind of funny that there's another zooplankton project happening in the lab at the same time - Kharis is working on a set of samples from the high Arctic. It feels a bit like we've undertaken a case study in latitudinal clines in biodivers