Caught in the act!

For our ‘Caught in the Act’ feature today, I found the lovely Kylla Benes measuring the reproductive effort of fucus seaweed. Kylla is in the middle of one of those experiments that addresses an important and straightforward question, but requires long stretches of tedious work (a fair description for most experiments, I’d say). Kylla collected seaweed from 20 quadrats and is measuring the size and relative proportions of … Continue reading Caught in the act!

Do you make decisions based on temperature? This crab does!

Have you ever spent a winter vacation on the warm, sunny beach and came back to the cold weather and thought, “I am definitely meant to be where it’s warm!” I think this feeling is common among us Northeasterners (especially after this winter’s polar vortex), but it’s certainly not universal across the animal kingdom. My recent article, published in the Journal of Experimental Biology and … Continue reading Do you make decisions based on temperature? This crab does!

Watch a lobster’s heart beat!

Right now I am working on a research project investigating changing hormone levels in the lobster. I use quantitative mass spectrometry to assess hormone protein concentrations in hemolymph (blood) samples. Lobsters have what is known as a semi-open circulatory system. They do have arteries, but they also have areas where blood is just delivered openly in the body cavity. Thus, there are two approaches to taking a … Continue reading Watch a lobster’s heart beat!

My Top Ten Most Abused Apps

We’re coming out of the holiday season, and I found this year to be no different in that I find myself in conversations at a friends or extended family holiday party being asked what the heck I actually do when I get to work… It’s so understandable! When does the public really interact with research scientists? It’s not like being a dentist or a florist, … Continue reading My Top Ten Most Abused Apps

Berried Lobster

Today I found a ‘berried’ lobster in my lobster tank. A berried lobster is a female lobster with fertilized eggs held on the underside of her abdomen. These eggs hatch into lobster larvae that eventually grow into the adult lobsters most people recognize. I’m not sure if she was berried when I got my shipment of lobsters from our local commercial fisherman (berried females typically … Continue reading Berried Lobster

The Road to PhD Candidacy

Last Thursday I had my oral qualifying exam for my doctorate. The way our department at Northeastern University structures the exam is a presentation of your dissertation proposal and then (what feels like) limitless questions pertaining to the proposal, or any related subject material. It’s pretty intimidating entering this exam because your committee members can ask just about anything! I spent the weeks preceding my … Continue reading The Road to PhD Candidacy

Caught in the act!! Staying warm while pipetting

Today I found PhD student Sarah Gignoux-Wolfsohn trying to keep warm in the lab. Sarah works on the bacterial causes of white band diseases in Caribbean coral. Half of her work is conducted at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. The other half of her work is conducted in the lab at our Northeastern University Marine Science Center. The lab has to be air-conditioned … Continue reading Caught in the act!! Staying warm while pipetting