Finally, that update to the rest of the work done this go-round in Trinidad.
The project I was there to assist with seemed to be successful so far. Three predators were successfully introduced into three experimental pools in Arima RO (RO= rivulus only). Barriers were built to keep predators and rivulus from moving downstream. The sites will be revisited in a few months to follow up with the experiment. The experiment is looking at how predation affects the evolution of brain and eye size in the Rivulus. Pictures are below; credit to Shannon Beston for some of the photos.
Also, I'm officially one week into my time as a PhD student!
Hello from Trinidad!
The past five days I've been back in Trinidad helping to do more rivulus (killifish) field work in freshwater streams. More mark/recapture work is involved again but Shannon's (fellow Walsh lab PhD student) project is testing brain/eye size changes over time in pools where predatory fish will be introduced.
I've assisted with catching fish at night (as that's when they are most active), processing them (weigh, measure, mark, photograph), and some boldness assays with a subset of the fish. I have five days left here, one of which is hopefully a nice beach day! I will update after I return to the States, pictures and all.
I recently took a trip to Laredo, Texas to go camping for the Texas Herpetology Society meet. My friends and I met up with other UTA students (grad and undergrad) along with THS members to search for herps on a private ranch along the border. I thought I would share a few pictures of our finds on this trip. Enjoy,
I have recently been officially accepted to Quantitative Biologly PhD program at the University of Texas, Arlington! I will begin this fall in the Walsh lab. I hope to study Trinidad killifish, asking questions concerning anthropogenic effects as well as hope to tie my work into conservation some how.
I'll update with more information as I start to form more specific questions for my research.
I recently got to travel to Trinidad to do some field work. Trinidad is an island located just north off the coast of Venezuela, and is actually part of the government of Trinidad and Tobago. I joined Shannon, a PhD candidate from the Walsh lab, and Dr. Matt Walsh to help begin a mark/recapture experiment with Rivulus killifish in local streams.
We stayed in a town called Arima (or just outside of the town closer to the mountains). Our first day was spent getting set up with groceries and checking out one of the streams. Our first night out catching Rivulus was actually New Year's Eve. Armed with small nets we headed out to the stream behind the house we were staying in. Rivulus like to hang out in side pools where there is minimal water flow so we flagged certain pools and caught as many killifish from them as we could. Our first night we caught about 150 fish. The next day was spent processing the fish we brought back. We measured, weighed, marked (with elastomer), and took photos of the fish. Once done we returned them to the same pool they were pulled from. The next four nights and days were spent in the same manner but with different streams, some of which were high predation streams.
With a few days before I left, we had a couple of free days. On January 5th we went to Las Cuevas Beach. Unfortunately it was a little overcast and rained slightly on us. But the beach was still nice. We went to another beach the next day, Manzanilla Beach. My last day we drove to Pitch Lake and explored areas on the other side of the island.
Enjoy some photos!
July 9, 2016
After two days of travel I have made it back home to Texas! I got to walk around Fairbanks briefly last night and enjoyed a delicious dinner at a Japanese restaurant with Michelle and another researcher who came down from Toolik with us. Then an early flight this morning to Seattle, and from Seattle to Dallas! I enjoyed my time in Toolik, getting field research and meeting some cool new people.
I also saw a bear on the drive south! It was right off the road, although we were driving so I wasn't able to get a picture.
A few last photos:
July 6, 2016