This summer I had the opportunity to conduct original research at the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (ESNERR) in Watsonville, California. In addition to assisting with ESNERR’s regular monitoring projects, I conducted an observational study to study a possible link between an invasive crab (Carcinus maenas) and poor water quality due to eutrophication. Trekking through the mud to deploy and retrieve traps was exhausting but worth the effort! I discovered how rewarding original research can be!
My master’s thesis focuses on a curious little protistan parasite: Ichthyophonus hoferi. The parasite is a mesomycetozoan.
Hurray to a scientific name that makes sense!
This lil’ parasite was once classified as a fungus, and it’s easy to see why. Ichthyophonus can take on many shapes, many of which resemble fungi. For example, sometimes Ichthyophonus can be seen surrounded by hyphae (usually a fungal characteristic):
Another major stage of Ichthyophonus is its schizont phase, which look pretty spore-like to many (although, in my non-fungus research focus, all spheres look spore-like to me 🤷♀️ )
Yup. Basically everything you see is Ichthyophonus in its glorious cell-stage diversity 😍.
Ichthyophonus is more than a taxonomic puzzle, it is also a disease-causing agent in over 80 different fish species (brown trout, herrings, halibuts, much more). Stay tuned…
We all know that driving cars and keeping the lights on impacts our carbon footprint… but could our diet make even more of an impact?
Presentation given at TEDdy Talks hosted by CSU Monterey Bay (May 2016)
Biodiversity in decline: how human behavior promotes invasive species
I am so very excited to share my camera system design with my marine ecology community today!
I’ve been given the opportunity to attend the Ocean Candidates Forum at CSU Monterey Bay tonight!
I’ll be giving my oral presentation based on the Ulithi expedition at the Western Society of Naturalists at 1:30pm, in the Conservation Technologies session!
See you there!
Finally we land in Yap State! Our flight landed close to midnight, but even so, I am hit with a wet wall of heat as I step off the plane.
Day 5 of the International Coral Reef Symposium, and I missed it! I was not disappointed, however. We need to leave today if we are to make the once weekly flight to the Ulithi Atoll.
As you might imagine, getting to one of the least visited countries in the world is no easy feat.
What a whirlwind the past few days have been!
Fresh off the plane in Honolulu,
After a couple of intense packing days, we are ready for the first arm of the expedition! Through this process, I definitely learned a lot about preparing for science in a remote region.
Lesson 1: When in doubt, pack that screw AND the screwdriver to fit it!