How To Move A Lab

“What! We have to fit all our stuff into that little thing!”
“What! We have to fit all our stuff into that little thing!”

It’s early August in Florida: swelteringly hot, with the constant threat of torrential thunderstorms spontaneously erupting from the heavens, and humid enough to be a sauna. Disgustingly sweaty, I gaze into the interior of a shipping pod, which coworkers and I have just piled and packed to near-overflowing with boxes, bins, baskets, buckets, traps, tubes, and untold other odd objects like a giant game of Tetris. Satisfied with the result, we shove closed the door and lock it. The pod’s destination: Nahant, MA.

Just some of the contents of our lab’s outdoor storage shed… the “scientific equipment” we marine ecologists use.
Just some of the contents of our outdoor storage shed… the “scientific equipment” we marine field ecologists use, in addition to the numerous items that inhabit our indoor lab space.

This shipping pod contained, of course, the near-entire contents of Dr. David Kimbro’s and Dr. Randall Hughes’s research laboratory, which this year, transplanted itself from Florida State’s Marine Lab to Northeastern’s Marine Science Center. Dr. Kimbro (my PhD advisor) and Dr. Hughes are just two of many new faculty to recently take up professorships at the MSC, and like any move, it’s been a hectic but exciting time for us all! A week after sending our lab equipment on its way, I packed my own life and belongings into my Honda Civic and migrated north as well. I soon met the pod in Nahant, ready to unpack it into our (literally) shiny, brand new lab space.

Our shiny new lab space at the Northeastern MSC! So many shelves and drawers and windows!
Our shiny new lab space at the Northeastern MSC! So many shelves and drawers and windows!
The new Hughes greenhouse, to be completed this spring, just in time for collecting marsh plants!
The new Hughes greenhouse. Construction to be completed this spring, just in time for collecting marsh plants!
Me at work in the Florida mangroves.
Me (Tanya) at work in the Florida mangroves.

This fall I started my first semester of graduate school here at Northeastern, and I’m excited to be here at the MSC, to start new and exciting research in New England, and to join the team of graduate student bloggers! I’m interested in studying marine and coastal ecological communities, particularly how factors like species losses and species introductions affect interactions and ecosystem processes. For the three years prior to coming here, I worked as Dr. Kimbro’s research technician in Florida on a variety of oyster reef, salt marsh, and seagrass projects. Now as a PhD student, I’m taking courses in data analysis, TAing introductory biology, and scheming about cool research projects I can start next spring.

I’m from the west coast originally and have never lived in the Northeast before, so this will be an interesting first year for me! Already I’ve gotten to experience all sorts of fun, new New England things, like fall colors, cider donuts, lobster rolls, the Maine coast, coat rooms, driving in snow (which the Civic is not too hot on), and sustained sub-freezing temperatures. As the new year begins, and as I start up my research here, there will be many adventures in store for me I’m sure, and I look forward to sharing them with you here on this blog.

For more information about research in the recently-arrived Hughes-Kimbro (aka Hug-Bro) lab visit the Hughes and Kimbro lab web pages.

Happy Holidays!

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