Tag Archives: Diatom Diazotroph Association

Collecting snow in the tropics

R/V Atlantic Explorer at sea

After 2 months of packing, planning, prepping, and fretting, I finally boarded a plane to Bermuda in mid August to take part in a research cruise aboard the R/V Atlantic Explorer. This was set to be the third and final research expedition of my PhD, and I had firm plans to tie up some loose ends from previous sampling and to [hopefully] confirm a few hypotheses I’ve been juggling about for the past year. Like any research expedition, we faced a few hurdles with engine troubles and impending tropical storms, but managed to leave port only 2 days late, and were able tack on an extra day of sampling on the end to make up for lost time. All in all there was no harm done, except maybe to my ever-dwindling research training and support grant, which certainly took a few hard knocks with flight changes. Continue reading Collecting snow in the tropics


It takes a special kind of person to be a phytoplankton ecologist

Within my first two years of undergrad, I’ve been lucky enough to participate in two research programs, at the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences in Morehead City, North Carolina, and at UT’s Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, Texas. Despite nearly 1000 miles separating the two places, there were several striking similarities. Between the charmingly goofy professors, the diverse group of undergrads (many of which are sometimes crammed into one small dorm room), and the laid back atmosphere of beach towns, I felt like I have a pretty good knowledge of what a typical marine science research extravaganza entailed, that is, until all of that was crammed onto a 135-foot boat. Continue reading It takes a special kind of person to be a phytoplankton ecologist