This past month I moved back to Turkey, where I was living before starting my PhD at Northeastern. My husband lives here, and as he also works in ecology and evolution research, the summer often presents some opportunities to get into the field. This time we are looking for blue crabs, which are an invasive species in the Mediterranean. Researchers from the University of Texas and Duke (led by Pablo Munguai) are investigating the genetics of the crabs to understand the source(s) of the invasion.
The place we have come to find the crabs is the small town of Enez, adjacent to the Greek border. For this reason, field work is a bit more complicated and involves coordinating with both local authorities and the military at the border. However, after some small delays, we have had success and are now processing the samples at the local cafe – attracting quite a bit of curiosity from onlookers.
In addition to the research itself – there are some perks of doing research in Turkey – one of which is that you can combine a days work with a stroll to the Roman/Byzantine castle down the street (click this link for a cool interactive view of a part of the castle).