This is a blog post by Andi Haas, a PhD student in our lab, following the other side of field research.
While the majority of the lab is on a field cruise, generating data for future scientific publications, others are still working in the lab, processing samples collected on the last field trip and preparing for the next. Working in the field may be the most exhausting part of being a marine scientist, but at the same time it’s the most exciting and rewarding part. Though a lot of the time, the hours spent in the lab preparing for these field trips, processing the samples, and publishing our findings exceed the hours spent in the field. Back here at SIO we are analyzing data from the last trip to Moorea, French Polynesia, where, amongst other experiments like SIP and RR, an in-situ coral algae transplant experiment ended in a 6 hour dive-sample-swim triathlon.
As much as I enjoyed being in the field with the joint group of SIO, SDSU and UCSB, it is also exiting to get the results from our work there, evaluate them and think of continuative or improved experiments. We are also are trying out new tools that allow us to follow cycles of matter in the reef ecosystem more accurately. Once they prove their value and practicability in the lab, these tools will also find their way to beautiful, remote coral reef locations to assist in future studies – can’t wait for that to happen!