Monday, January 31, 2005

First Day on the Job

Today was my first day as an intern at the Marine Resources Center, a part of the Marine Biological Laboratory. It was a fairly quiet day with little to do. I started off my day bright and early (7:00am) in order to get pictures for all you dedicated readers so I hope you appreciate them :) There are too many to add to one post, but I'll include them throughout the blog as I go along.

My introduction in animal care began at 7:30 am in our Mariculture Room and Zebrafish Culture Room. Just a small portion of the animals that MBL houses. I did water quality tests today, checking temperature, pH, nitrite, nitrate, ammonia, and alkalinity levels. So my chemistry lab experience has paid off once again (for those of you interested in pursuing a career in biological, I definitely recommend getting experience in physics or chemistry).

I also got to siphon out the Aplysia tank, which can get pretty scummy. Aplysia californica is a large sea-slug.
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The rest of the morning was pretty uneventful. The post-doc I'm going to be assisting came in later in the moring, so I was given some background material to read by Dr. Hanlon. The project I will be working on involves the use of disruptive color patterns and determining color vision. Interesting stuff. For more information, go here.

Once Lydia (the post-doc) arrived, I was able to watch her set up the experiment which consists of randomly choosing one of 11 juvenile Sepia and placing it on one of 10 randomly chosen checkerboard patterns and videotaping the animal. The checkerboards range from black and white to black and green to grey and green to green and white. This gives the cuttlefish a range of contrasts.

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