Archive for October, 2012

Early succession – diatoms, shrimp and fish

October 26, 2012

On 10 October 2012, B block marine scientists went down to the Pearson College dock and checked on the substrates that they had suspended in the water on 7 September 2012.

After a month there have been some changes:


A bleach bottle is now covered in benthic diatoms:


So is the piece of cinder block:


And a glass jar:




The “Kraken” bottle is covered in diatoms too:



And it is home to at least one dock shrimp:




The tire also housed several shrimp (the photos didn’t turn out though, sorry!)



And the substrate below…



…had a crescent gunnel living between the bottle and the mesh covering.

Kelp forest exploration – A block

October 17, 2012

Marine scientists in A block traveled to Fossil Point on Friday 5 October to explore the kelp forest. We arrived at Fossil Point and divers Gabbie & Laas got suited up and into the water.

While Gabbie & Laas were diving, five snorkelers got suited up and into the water.

Everyone saw lots of bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana)…

Ela found a lion’s mane or hooded nudibranch (Melibe leonina) which we brought back to the Marine Science lab and it has recently laid eggs in a container in our seawater table.

And Laas surfaced with a giant Red sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus franciscanus).

Kelp forest exploration – F block

October 16, 2012

On Wednesday 3 October second year Marine Science students in F block travelled to Fossil Point to explore the Nereocystis kelp forest.


From the surface, various abiotic factors were measured.


And organisms were observed, including the Lion’s mane jelly (Cyanea capillata) below.


And a kelp crab (Pugettia producta) that was collected by Chris.


Seven students submerged themselves in the ecosystem using mask, snorkel & fins.

The hardest part was getting dressed…



Once in the water they seemed to really enjoy themselves…




Sammy managed to collect a holdfast:



It was difficult to extract the snorkelers from the kelp forest but we had to return to the College for lunch (we left the kelp there for the grazers – sea urchins, snails, fishes, etc.).

More temperature salinity data

October 16, 2012

9:45 am    16 October 2012   Pearson College Dock

Depth (m) Temperature (oC) Salinty (ppt)
0 9.6 31.2
0.5 9.5 31.1
1 9.3 31.1
2 9.2 31.1
3 9.2 31.3
4 9.2 31.3
5 9.2 30.8
6 9.2 31.1

An interesting lack of effect of the rainfall…

After the rain…

October 15, 2012

At 8:15 am today, first year marine scientists measured seawater temperature and salinity off the Pearson College dock.

Depth (m) Temperature (oC) Salinity (ppt)
0.0 10.3 29.8
0.5 10.2 31.1
1.0 9.9 30.5
2.0 9.7 30.6
3.0 9.6 30.6
4.0 9.6 30.7
5.0 9.6 28.0

An interesting effect of the massive rainfall this weekend.

Kelp at the green buoy

October 10, 2012

Second year marine science students went on a spontaneous field trip on the afternoon of 1 October 2012.  We travelled to the green buoy in Pedder Bay where there is a tiny patch of bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana). We pulled one of the kelps on to our boat and found a few very interesting organisms living amongst the blades.

Kelp crab (Pugettia producta) on bull kelp blades.  This is an ovigerous (egg-bearing) female with a lot of algae & some barnacles on her carapace.

Notice her ‘cutting’ claws used to tear pieces of kelp.

A small decorator crab.

A northern clingfish (Gobiesox maeandricus).

And this very unusual looking bull kelp individual!  Perhaps it is getting ready for halloween…

Where are they now? – Danielle and Felix

October 9, 2012

Felix (PC36, Austria) and Danielle (PC37, The Netherlands) recently began their first year of studies at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) in Oban, Scotland. This is one of the campuses of the University of the Highlands and Islands and it is located on the west coast of Scotland.

Danielle (above in front of the SAMS academic building) and Felix were both students in Marine Science and very active divers. We look forward to hearing about their marine adventures in Scotland and beyond!

***UPDATE: Here’s a link to Danielle’s blog chronicling her adventures: