All good things must come to an end :(

So these last few weeks have been pretty busy. It was a little hectic trying to finish my poster while doing field work but it all came together in the end. This time around I didn’t have to digest any shrimp so it was nice to help out with the other projects going on in the field. I was very nervous for the poster session and the lightning talk but I think everyone did a great job. Overall I think it went really well and was definitely a learning experience. It was also nice to get feedback from the scientists at HMSC.

I’ve really enjoyed all the food that I’ve eaten in Washington and Oregon and I think I’ll really miss it when I go home. Last week we walked to Chalet and I had the most amazing strawberry pancakes. I was in a serious food coma afterwards but it was so worth it.

I’ll really miss Oregon and HMSC but I’m so grateful for the experience that I’ve had here and I’ll for sure never forget it. I’ll be sure to keep in touch and hopefully cross paths with you guys again!

More Field Work and Nematodes!

Sooo not much has changed in my research, I’m still looking for Nematodes in different locations just to see where they infect the shrimp. We did have a tiny breakthrough last week because we originally thought that the nematode wasn’t present in Newport but we sampled a little further out and I actually found 2 more nematodes. This was a relief for my advisor because it’ll make his future research a lot easier since this means he’ll only have to drive a few minutes away from the lab to take sample for nematodes rather than having to drive 4-5 hours to Willapa Bay for samples. I must say I’m getting a lot faster and more efficient with my digestions which has been really helpful since we’ve been collecting more shrimp.

Camping was sooooooo much fun. I thought I would be miserable because I couldn’t shower for two days but that wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I also assumed we’d be doing a lot of snacking because of our limited resources but I feel like we ate really well over those two days. It was so fun to make our crazy smores and grill burgers and hotdogs. It was by far the best camping experience I’ve had so far.

I’ve noticed lately that I’ve been a little obsessed with jellyfish. I took a walk along the crabbing dock near rogue just to look at the water and I saw a bunch of jellies floating around in the bay and ever since then I’ve been seeing them everywhere. I’ve seen two since then while doing fieldwork and I managed to pick both of them up with harming myself or the jelly. I was a little scared at first but I didn’t get stung and it was cool to actually touch a jelly and see how it felt.

Field Work and fresh milkshakes!

This past week has been very busy but very fun. I had a long week of field work but I saw and learned a lot. My research is going really well because I’ve managed to find 5 more parasites in my ghost shrimp samples. I was very happy to see that I was doing the digestion correctly and that all our hard work didn’t go to waste. Initially I was only able to see the parasite in the plastic cup that we did the digestion in but a lab member let me look at it under a microscope so that I could really see what it looked like. It looks like a little white worm that is constantly wiggling around.I can’t wait to do more field work and hopefully find more nematodes so that I can hopefully begin to figure out why they appear in these sites
We did take a break to have some fun during our trip and we stopped at the Tillamook creamery to get some fresh ice cream. I ended up getting a shake and I must say it was the best one I’ve ever had!

Fieldwork, friends and food!

So far my time here at Hatfield has been truly amazing. My roommates and I get along really well and I can always count on someone to bake wonderful pastries for us to eat. I’ve made a point to explore the city and my walks usually end with me grabbing some food from anywhere that catches my eye.

My research is going really well and my favorite part of it all is doing field work. At first I was a bit hesitant about rolling in mud but it has grown on me. The purpose of my experiment is to collect ghost shrimp from different sites in Willipa Bay to see if they contain a parasite that affects their behavior. The parasite comes out when it’s in the stomach of staghorn sculpins so in order to get the parasite out I have to recreate the stomach acid of the sculpin using a pepsin digest. I’ve completed a few digestions for my nematode project and I actually found the parasite we were looking for which was really exciting!! I can’t wait to finish all of my digestions and see the areas that the parasite occupies.

I absolutely love my lab because my lab mates and I are really close and we spend most of our time laughing rather than working. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer holds!