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...

Friday, March 19, 2010


Ok, I really need to start doing a better job. I mean really, how can I be better at posting during my busy field season than my slow season? It probably has to do with not taking any cool pictures while I am cutting open scallops in the lab and punching numbers into the computer. That said, it has been a pretty exciting off-season for me. I started presenting my research on scallops in Codium to pretty good reviews at the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation meeting in Portland, Oregon in November. Portland is a pretty cool city and we were lucky to have nice weather for essentially the whole week there. While there I was able to interact with Dr Bob Orth, a noted seagrass biologist who has recently demonstrated great success in restoring eelgrass meadows via seed dispersal. Because of their success with seagrasses, a group at VIMS wants to try to bring back a commercially important associated epifauna, and one that is dear to my heart, the bay scallop. So we had talked about their restoration efforts compared with those in New York, and I was able to make a very valuable connection. Oh, and I won an award for the 2nd best student presentation!

Then, for New Years, I was able to vacation in beautiful Kadavu, Fiji, for 3 weeks. Just scuba diving. Relaxing. Kayaking. Relaxing. Hiking. Oh, and relaxing. I went with a bunch of Southampton College (now defunct) of LIU alums, and an old professor and friend of mine. We stayed at the Matava Eco-Adventure Resort, dedicated to diving and fishing. I did somewhere in the ball park of 35 dives (although the exact number right now is escaping me), and I would do it again in a heartbeat if I ever have the opportunity. It was an amazing trip, and pictures will follow.

It was hard to adjust back to labwork when I returned from this trip, but I starting catching up, including working on 2 new manuscripts about our restoration work, since the results are very, very promising. And then we left for the Benthic Ecology Meeting hosted at UNCW. It was a great time, I gave another presentation, this time on my work with scallop recruitment. Again, a lot of positive feedback, which is always nice, and many more connections.

Anyway, I promise that I will make a better effort to post more often.

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Mr. said...
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