On 13 April, Hannes was invited to the board meeting of the Mumford Cove Association to present a brief update about our groups research activities in and around the cove. It is part of our commitment to public education and outreach to keep property owners informed and maintain good relationships with all parties involved.
The information material below contains graphical summaries of our activities, i.e., measuring water quality parameters continuously with a logging probe and conducting biweekly beach seine surveys for silversides.
Roughly once a month, somebody from our lab has to hop on a small institute boat and drive the 20 min over to our local field site, Mumford Cove, to exchange the sensors on our monitoring buoy. Depending on water temperature, the Eureka Probes recording temperature, salinity, pH, and oxygen in 30 min intervals are getting exchanged with another newly calibrated one with a fresh set of batteries.
As usual, Jake’s seeing this a great occasion to bring his GoPro along and have a new underwater look at the cove. What’s interesting, the dense seagrass meadows that cover the Cove’s bottom have become spotty this time of the year, and there’s much more sand visible.
We are happy to announce the continued support of the National Science Foundation, Division of Biological Oceanography, which just started to fund our project about multi-stressor effects on the early life stages of fish. This is collaborative work with Prof. Janet Nye’s lab at Stony Brook University, NY, which will strengthen ties between UConn and Stony Brook Marine Sciences. The work has already started and we’re looking forward to new discoveries!
Baumann, H. and Nye, J. 2015. Collaborative research: Understanding the effects of acidification and hypoxia within and across generations in a coastal marine fish. NSF Project# 1536336 (3 years)
By Jacob Snyder:
Chris and I meet up, grab the supplies we need (buckets, bags, coolers, aerators, etcetera), and start making our way to Scituate, Mass. Today we are going out on the NOAA vessel “Auk,” with a few members from NOAA and the USGS. Our goal? To collect approx. 200 Northern Sand Lance, Ammodytes dubius.
On this golden-crisp early fall Friday morning (9-25-15), we went to our favorite spot again – Mumford Cove – to go beach seining. Thanks to the many helping hands – Chris, Jake, Elizabeth, Wes, Megan, and Hannes – we hand a ton of fun, while seeing a very diverse catch, among of course our target species – Atlantic silverside juveniles. These were measured on the beach and then preserved, and will ultimately become part of a larger study of the seasonal characteristics of survivors.
However, have you ever wondered what it must be like for fish to get caught in a beach seine. Well, thanks to Jake’s new GoPro and his ingenuity tethering it to the bag of the seine, here’s a glimpse (in HD). Enjoy!
This summer, I was lucky enough to work in the Rankin Lab at Avery Point. I’d been looking for an opportunity to gain lab and field experience in marine biology, particularly in fish ecology and hypoxia research. I could not have had a better experience than volunteering with Hannes Baumann and Chris Murray this summer. Their research combines issues of hypoxia, ocean acidification and fish ecology to give meaningful insight into the range of effects possible under a changing climate.
Volunteering in the lab, I was able to develop practical skills in fish biology that are already coming in handy in my upper level Ichthyology course. In the field, I learned how to use a seining net to catch specimens and identify target species. In the lab I participated in spawning fish, fertilizing eggs and day to day maintenance of larval fish and their environment.
However, just as valuable as practical skills is the perspective I gained from this experience. Before volunteering at the Rankin lab, I’d never considered the importance of creative thinking in research. When Hannes and Chris set out to study the combined effects of pH and oxygen levels on larval fish development, there was no starter kit available for them to do so. They had to create an entirely novel system, and only through resourcefulness and a lot of trial and error were they able to make their idea a reality. For me this meant days of drilling holes in five gallon buckets and hot gluing mesh over them. This was a creative solution to the problem of continuous water flow between the buckets within a tank. Its a comfort to know that my arts and crafts skills have relevance to my aspirations in marine biology.
I also walked away from this summer with an appreciation of the interconnectivity of the sciences and the importance of collaboration. When a fungal pathogen wiped out most of the larvae in the first trial of the Hypoxia/Acidification experiment, we were not equipped to identify it. Neither Hannes nor Chris specialize in mycology, but they were able to reach out to colleagues at Avery Point and Stony Brook who do. This is just one example of the many times I saw Chris and Hannes collaborate with scientists and engineers of different specialties this summer.
This being my first experience in a research environment, I was very fortunate to volunteer in a lab where I was able to gain such a wide range of skills and knowledge. I’m grateful to Hannes and Chris for introducing me to the research world and giving me the confidence to keep pursuing a career in marine biology.
On Friday morning, a little search party crossed Bluff Point Park in the hazy morning hours. Hannes, Chris (+bear), Jake and our guest, David Conover from Stony Brook University, set out to find eggs of Atlantic silversides in the intertidal zone of Mumford Cove. Dr. Conover explained, how and where to look, while the fog slowly got burned off and a gorgeous spring day began. Later, Dr. Conover gave a Friday seminar at the Marine Sciences Department titled: “Crisis in the Funding of Basic Research in the Ocean Sciences: An Inside Perspective on NSF and the Role of the Community”. Thank you for your visit, David!
On Friday (5/2/2015) afternoon, we went out seining at Mumford Cove and caught the first running-ripe Atlantic silversides (M. menidia) of the 2015 spawning season.
The field and experimental season is now finally here!