Friday, July 27, 2012

Week 8: done and done

Hey everyone! So, it's been an eventful 8 weeks, but an extremely productive one.  Thanks for supporting me on this research expedition!  I will be leaving the island this coming Monday, to resume my day job as a curriculum designer for Iridescent.  This blog will turn into my personal blog and homepage, so I encourage you to stay tuned if you're interested in hearing more about science, education, online learning, and games.

To wrap up- first, if you donated at least $100 and would like a particular algae pressing sent to you, now's the time to say so!  I will be sending out the pressings this weekend, so please make your choice by Friday at midnight, otherwise I will select one at random for you.

A quick summary of the results of this summer:

I built a shear flume.  Yay!  It's super sweet and somewhat surprisingly works the way I intended. 

I got a little bit of data showing that the spores of one of the local species are as fast and as strong as the species in my thesis.  Thus the pattern seems general- red algal spores can produce an glue which can set, underwater, in a matter of minutes and is extremely strong once set.  We as humans have yet to manufacture a glue which acts nearly as good as this.

I also found that pH has a negative effect on algal spores- it seems to make them take longer to attach to surface, maybe making it more difficult for them to settle and become adults.

The research doesn't end here!  Becca Guenther, a PhD student at the University of British Columbia, has been following me around for the last few weeks, learning the ins and outs of the flume.  This research (in particular on ocean acidification) will continue as part of her PhD research.  I was really excited to hear her tell me this!  It means all the work I put into this summer will continue to develop into more and more interesting science, as the flume becomes a staple piece of equipment in the lab here at FHL.

I just wanted to end by saying thanks! to everyone who donated money and helped support my research.  I hope the blog was enjoyable, feel free to drop me a line or leave a comment if there's anything you want to hear more about or see.  Thanks again for supporting science!!


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