Point Sur Updates from Ali, Carla, and Kelia

Dr. Alison Deary, Carla Culpepper, and Kelia Axler give a scientist’s-eye view of life aboard a research vessel. All photos taken by Culpepper unless otherwise indicated.

July 28, 2016–Crazy Critters!

When the average person discovers that we are marine biologists, they typically assume that we study dolphins, whales, or large pelagic fish such as sharks. But for us CONCORDE biologists, the tiny critters that drift and float passively through the seawater are our charismatic creatures. While seemingly insignificant to most, these microscopic organisms, collectively termed “plankton,” are the base of the food chain and a critical source of nutrients for many larger aquatic lifeforms, such as the aforementioned fishes and whales. Plankton is made up of bacteria, algae, crustaceans, fish larvae, fish and invertebrate eggs, worms and so much more that pique our curiosity as researchers on board the R/V Point Sur. The CONCORDE biological division consists of graduate student Adam Boyette, who uses a FlowCAM to image phytoplankton; Dr. Adam Greer and Dr. Christian Briseño-Avena, who use the In Situ Ichthyoplankton Imaging System (ISIIS) to image zooplankton; and Dr. Ali Deary, Carla Culpepper, Sarah Muffelman, Kelia Axler, and Antonio Pliru, who use plankton nets to sample for larval fish and zooplankton and a microscope camera to photograph interesting critters. See below for a selection of images taken by the biological team’s FlowCAM, ISIIS, and microscope camera during the CONCORDE cruises.

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Point Sur Updates from Ali

Dr. Alison Deary, a Postdoctoral Research Associate working with Plankton sub-group lead Dr. Frank Hernandez, sends an email report from the Point Sur to the CONCORDE group every night. You can read her updates below.

March 31,2016

Water sampling along the Eastern corridor went very well last night and this morning.We even arrived right on time to the inshore head of our Mobile corridor at about 0730. We started the day’s operations with a CTD cast and then commenced net sampling a little before 0800. The seas were pretty rough and not optimum for a neuston net tow so we did not complete a second tow. However, the sample was filled with vegetative matter—sticks, twigs, chunks of wood—probably being flushed out of the Mobile Bay. In addition, we were treated to a dolphin sighting, tentatively bottlenose dolphins, during our morning net tows! I missed the first dolphin sighting while I was entering data during the day ops on the eastern corridor.

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Point Sur Updates from Ali

Dr. Alison Deary, a Postdoctoral Research Associate working with Plankton sub-group lead Dr. Frank Hernandez, sends an email report from the Point Sur to the CONCORDE group every night. You can read her updates below.

March 30, 2016

Today was our first official full sampling day of the Spring campaign and it went very smoothly! We had several goals for the day and I am pleased to announce we accomplished each one.

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