Tuesday, June 16, 2015

University of Florida MS student Ryan Jiorle is a Fish Detective!

Ryan recently took a trip to Ireland to do ecological research at the Lough Hyne Marine Nature Reserve. Watch the video he made describing his project! We've also included some text from him further describing his work.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Fieldwork Finds

While it is thrilling contributing to the great pillar that is science, some of my favorite moments are generated from unearthing something new and interesting almost every time I’m out in the field.

Today while I was digging up some oysters in order to install a sediment trap, I was surprised when a fish skipped out of the muddy hole and landed nearby. And then while trying to re-home him nearby, he happily chomped down on the end of my garden cultivator. Can’t say I entirely blame him. I both caved in the walls of his condo and then unceremoniously moved him an inconvenient distance from it. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Research on the Reef (Or How I Learned to Love the Oyster)

I am in Marineland, a town south of St. Augustine, covered in muck, standing on an oyster reef offshore. My dingy garage-sale kayak, which I have recently dubbed the “Oystercatcher” (potentially a tongue-in-cheek name amusing only to me) sits unceremoniously nearby, full to the brim with random pieces of equipment – muddy work gloves, needle nose pliers, zip ties, lengths of rebar and PVC pipe. I free the buckets I’ve lashed to the back of the boat with fluorescent green lengths of nylon rope. This is one of several trips I have taken to test the design of sediment traps, constructed from said buckets and netting, which I will use for my research. Over two weeks, I will relate what the oysters produce as faeces and pseudofaeces (rejected food particles), collectively called biodeposits, to inorganic matter in the surrounding waters. I will use this to reveal how much and how fast these bivalves filter feed.