How strange to call this planet 'Earth' when quite clearly it is ocean. Arthur C. Clarke

Monday, April 25, 2016

Quailties of a Successful Graduate Student

A few tips from a professor's talk at an American Fisheries Society conference.

Qualities of a successful graduate student:

1. Perseverance
2. Maintains a positive attitude
3. Excellent at communication
4. Has a strong work ethic
5. Takes initiative

I add:

6. Enjoys taking on seemingly impossible tasks
7. Never hopes to maintain a regular work schedule
8. Is comfortable periodically losing sanity
9. Enjoys flying by the seat of her pants and knows that control is not something to be grasped, ever.

If you are considering graduate school, please think about if you have or can learn these qualities!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

OA experiment done!

I am happy to report that I successfully finished my ocean acidification experiment testing snail drilling behavior. This is extremely exciting as I had no idea if the experiment would work, and was going to treat this as practice for a real, better experiment down the line. But it worked so well, I don't think I'll need to do that!

Here are some final stats:

  • Number of snails I started with: 173
  • Number of snails that died: 13 (7.5%)
  • Number of snails that ate a mussel: 150 (86.7%)
  • Dates the experiment was running: Jan 14 through Mar 14
  • Number of days the experiment ran: 60
  • Shortest recorded feeding time for any one snail: 24 hours (feeding on a small mussel)
  • Longest recorded feeding time for any one snail: 246 hours, or 20.5 days (feeding on a large mussel)
The preliminary analysis shows that there was no effect of pH treatment on the snails' choices of which size mussel to eat. I have a lot more data exploration yet to do, so I'll provide any cool updates about results when I get them!!

A close of up the amazing pH probe
that precisely measured the pH in my 

A close up of the backside of my snail bins. This is where
the treatment water entered the bin.

We used these CO2 tanks to acidify the
seawater for the low pH treatments.

This is how many boxes of glass bottles I used 
for water sampling. Each box contained 24 
bottles. There are 22 boxes. Yikes.

Here is my experiment being cleaned up! I was so happy!