Zostera marina is a seagrass species, commonly known as eelgrass, that is found on both coasts of the United States, as well as in Europe. Unfortunately, Zostera is disappearing all over the place, including right here in New York. This could have devastating impacts on animals that rely on eelgrass as foraging grounds, or, as is the case with scallops, use it as a refuge from predation. This is its story, as seen through the eyes of an aspiring graduate student...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Back from benthics

So for the past few days I was in Corpus Christi, TX, for the Benthic Ecology meetings. It was great. It was smaller this year than in years past, and I think the coziness lead to much better interactions between people this year. I think my presentation went well (nobody threw shoes at me or anything like that). I was also able to visit the Texas State Aquarium and I frequented Crawdaddy's (the website doesn't do this place justice) for meals. I mean it doesn't get better than no frills, cheap beer and fried food. Best crawfish and fried okra I ever had (ok, first crawfish and okra I ever had), but they also had really good gumbo, and their service staff was incredibly friendly (although I imagine that just might be the way things are in Texas). The bar scene wasn't too shabby either. But for the business aspect of things, I saw a number of really good talks and interesting posters. There was a large contingent from VIMS, whose talks ranged from bay scallops to blue crabs to oysters to seagrass, whose talks and posters were very good. There is a lot of good work going on down there. DISL was also well represented, with numerous talks and posters, many of which focused on fisheries and trophic interactions. Overall, it was a very good conference. I was able to talk to alot of people about my research and theirs - a few people working with scallops, some about blue crabs (which I hope to work with in the future) and a bunch of people about artificial seagrass units. All in all, I think this meeting was much better in terms of interaction, and I look forward to attending next year in North Carolina!!!

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