Monday, July 30, 2012

Trophic BATS Cruise

As we speak, the second Trophic BATS (Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study) cruise of 2012 is wrapping up aboard the R/V Atlantic Explorer. With the broad goal of exploring the ecological controls on carbon export in the ocean, the Trophic BATS project involves more than a dozen scientists from five oceanographic and marine research institutions, each playing a unique role in the symphony of science taking place during the cruise.

Lomas Group - BIOS
Dr. Michael Lomas, senior research scientist and PI of the Phytolankton Ecology Lab (PEL) at BIOS, is co-PI of the Trophic BATS project.  His research foci include the ecological linkages between phytoplankton functional diversity and nutrient biogeochemical cycling, long-term patterns and controls on pico-phytoplankton diversity in the Atlantic, and flow cytometry techniques as an investigative tool.  While on board, he is assisted by Doug Bell, Kristina Terpis, and Anna Rumyantseva (research technicians).

Richardson Group – University of South Carolina
Dr. Tammi Richardson, Associate Professor in the Marine Science Program and Biological Sciences at USC, is the chief scientist of the cruise and lead PI on the Trophic BATS project.  She studies phytoplankton and how light, nutrients, and temperature influence phytoplankton growth and taxonomic composition, including the development of “red tides" (harmful algal blooms). On this cruise she is accompanied by her lab technician, Emily Goldman, and two students: Bridget Bachman (Ph.D. student) and Eric Lachenmyer (M.S. student).

Neuer Group – Arizona State University
Dr. Susanne Neuer is an Associate Professor in Organismal, Integrative, and Systems Biology at Arizona State University and co-PI on the Trophic BATS project.  Her main research interest is the dynamics of the biological carbon pump and the role of ocean biota in the carbon export to the deep sea.  Her group also works on several aspects of plankton ecology, including model systems of trophic interactions and molecular-based analysis of plankton diversity.  Her team includes Francesca De Martini (Ph.D. student), Megan Wolverton (undergraduate research assistant), and Dr. Stephanie Wilson (visiting postdoctoral scholar from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution).

Condon Group – Dauphin Island Sea Lab
Dr. Rob Condon is a Faculty Research Scientist at Dauphin Island Sea Lab and co-PI of the Trophic BATS project. He is a plankton and microbial ecologist interested in understanding the climatological, physical and biogeochemical processes controlling zooplankton and bacterial communities and carbon cycling. A former BIOS faculty member, Dr. Condon is using the Trophic BATS cruise to investigate species composition, feeding mechanisms, metabolic rates, and the biological and physical mechanisms controlling the seasonal distributions of migrating zooplankton communities.  Although not aboard the current cruise, his lab is represented by Naomi Shelton (research technician) and graduate students Josh Stone and Travis Goodloe.

Moran Group – University of Rhode Island
Dr. Bradley Moran, Professor of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, is also a co-PI of the Trophic BATS project. His research interests lie in the application of radionuclides as tracers of marine geochemical processes, including particle and carbon dynamics.  His lab is represented on the current cruise by Brendan Mackinson (Ph.D. student).

Elin Haugen is a Research Technician at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Maine.  She specializes in using flow cytometry techniques and is running the instrument on board the AE while out at sea.

Stay tuned to the BIOS Research Blog for more posts about the various research projects taking place aboard the R/V Atlantic Explorer.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Summer 2012 Interns: Post #6

This is it – our final post in the series introducing the 2012 BIOS Summer Interns!  We’ve met interns from Bermuda, Canada, and the United States that are working with BIOS faculty on projects in nearly every discipline in the ocean sciences.  We’ll be checking back with our interns toward the end of the summer to hear about their experiences and, hopefully, the results of their hard work – so be sure to keep an eye out for new blog posts!

In the meantime, we’d like to introduce you to the following interns:

Deirdre Collins, 16, is a rising senior at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire (US).  Originally from Bermuda, she recently went through the Waterstart program at BIOS with her siblings where she was able to obtain her Open Water diving certification.  Deirdre is working with the BIOS Dive Safety Officer, Ryan Patrylak, and will be obtaining her Advanced Open Water diving certification in the coming weeks.  She chose to do a volunteer internship at BIOS in order to gain experience in biology and marine science for her last year in high school.

Skye Welton, 17, is a rising senior at the Downe House School in Berkshire, England.  Originally from the UK, she did a volunteer internship with the BIOS Education Department last summer and enjoyed the experience so much that she came back to assist with the Waterstart program this summer.  In addition to her love of the water, Skye is interested in the environment and likes to play guitar and tennis.

Michael Johnston, 18, will be starting at Penn State this coming fall in the meteorology program.  As a Bermuda Program intern, he is spending the summer working with Dr. Andrew Peters in the Environmental Quality Program lab researching the meteorological controls on air quality in Bermuda.  Michael sees meteorology as a crucial component to ocean science and chose to intern at BIOS to gain experience putting meteorology to practical use.  His long-term goals include returning to Bermuda with his degree and working for the Bermuda Weather Service in the forecasting department.  When not studying, Michael enjoys learning about natural history and visiting many of Bermuda’s beautiful historic sites.

Maquira “Kira” Brock, 17, is a rising senior at the Friends School of Baltimore in Maryland.  A returning Bermuda Program intern, she is currently working with Tim Noyes in the Coral Reef Ecology and Optics (CREO) Lab and Rachel Parsons in the Microbial Observatory Lab using a molecular approach to study the effects of sewage outfall on fish populations.  Kira interned with the CREO Lab last year, when it was known as the Marine Environmental Program (MEP), and enjoyed the variety of hands-on experiences.  She applied to the program again this summer to further explore the field of marine science as a potential college major and career path.  Kira likes to spend her time playing soccer, reading, and SCUBA diving.

Alex Godfrey, 19, is about to enter his third and final year at Loughborough University in the UK where he is majoring in geography.  Also a Bermuda Program intern, he is working with Dr. Michael Lomas in the Plankton Ecology Lab (PEL) where he is working with a series of data sets to understand the role of phytoplankton diversity in controlling carbon export in the ocean.  Alex wanted to explore the ecological component to his geography degree and felt that an internship at BIOS would give him that experience.  A huge sports fan, Alex is active in cycling and triathlons and enjoys photography as well.

We hope you've enjoyed meeting our 2012 Summer Interns! 
If you are Bermudian and are interested in applying for a Bermuda Program Internship for Summer 2013, contact Kaitlin Baird, BIOS Education Officer at Kaitlin.Baird AT If you are a college student in the US or Canada and are interested in applying for summer internship, contact Chloe Newcomb Hodgetts at Chloe.Nh AT

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer 2012 Interns: Post #5

Hard to believe the summer is already half over!  To celebrate, we have another group of summer interns to introduce to you, including some that are familiar faces here at BIOS.

Melissa Wartman, 22, is a rising senior at Dalhousie University where she is studying both marine biology and oceanography.  With funding through the CABIOS Program, she is spending the summer working with Dr. Samantha de Putron on BEACON and will also be taking the Coral Reef Ecology (CRE) course.  Melissa chose to do an internship at BIOS because she heard it was a great place to do research, and also that the CRE course offers a lot of hands-on experience (and diving!).  Originally from Kingston, ONT, Canada she enjoys hiking, SCUBA diving, running, and traveling.

Sean McNally, 21, is a rising senior at the University of Rhode Island (URI) where he is studying marine biology with a minor in underwater archaeology.  He came to BIOS as a student last fall and had the opportunity to work with Rachel Parsons on a research project about Devil’s Hole in Bermuda.  Sean enjoyed the experience so much that he returned this summer to work with Parsons and Dr. Samantha de Putron investigating the microbial response to ocean acidification using a microscopic approach.  In addition to SCUBA diving, Sean enjoys playing soccer and snowboarding.

Jecar Chapman, 20, just graduated from Bermuda College with an A.S. and is looking forward to returning to the Philippines (his homeland) to continue his undergraduate education in medical technology, with the goal of obtaining his MD.  This summer marks Jecar’s third year as a BIOS intern in the Bermuda Program.  He originally worked with Dr. Andrea Bodnar studying sea urchins genomics and is spending this summer working with Rachel Parsons studying the microbial response to ocean acidification using a molecular approach. Jecar loves science and learning and keeps returning to BIOS because of the broad experiences he gets as an intern.  When not in the lab, Jecar likes playing sports and computer games.

Meredith Bibbings, 18, is a rising sophomore at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada where she is studying anatomy and cell biology with a minor in kinesiology.  She is currently debating between going to medical school and pursuing a career in research science and decided to spend the summer volunteering with Rachel Parsons to gain experience working in a research lab.  Meredith is working with Eden Richardson (a Bermuda Program intern in the same lab) investigating whether recreational boating increases sewage contamination in Bermuda’s inshore waters.  Originally from Bermuda, she enjoys cheerleading, dancing, and rowing.

Eden Richardson, 18, is a rising sophomore at Bermuda College where she is studying biology.  A former BIOS intern told her about his experiences and she applied for a position at BIOS as part of the Bermuda Program.  This summer, Eden is working with Rachel Parsons studying the relationship between recreational boating and sewage contamination in Bermuda’s inshore waters.  When not studying, she likes to play piano, volunteer, and practice photography.

Stay tuned for the next (and last!) post in this series…

Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer 2012 Interns: Post #4

Welcome to another installment of the 2012 Summer Intern Blog!  Here at BIOS the summer education programs, courses, and internships are in full-swing and the research station is bustling with energy.  Taking part in these activities are the following interns:

Beth McKenna, 20, is a rising junior at Princeton University where she is a pre-med studying ecology and evolutionary biology.  She is spending the summer at BIOS working in the Education Department with the Waterstart program.  Originally from Massachusetts, Beth decided to do an internship at BIOS because she saw it as a unique opportunity to explore marine biology while spending time outdoors. She is on the track team at Princeton where she does the pentathlon and heptathlon, and is also involved with Outdoor Action—the Princeton pre-orientation for freshman.

Matt Stone, 30, is a third grade teacher in Washington, D.C. and a Master’s student at Johns Hopkins University where he is getting his Technology for Educators degree.  Originally from Oklahoma, he came to Bermuda last year on his honeymoon and decided it would be an ideal location to pursue an internship that would combine his loves of science, teaching, and diving.  Matt will be spending six weeks working in the Education Department at BIOS with the Marine Science Internship (MSI) program. When not teaching or diving, he sings in a band in D.C. and plays a variety of sports, including American football.

Stacy Peltier, 27, will be graduating from Portland State University this fall with a BS in Earth Science.  Last year she worked Dr. Eric Hochberg in the Coral Reef Ecology and Optics (CREO) Lab as an REU student gathering data to determine if bio-optical methods can be used to set quantitative parameters for coral health.  Stacy enjoyed her experience so much that she returned to BIOS and the CREO Lab this summer to continue her work on bio-optics and assist with lab management, which she hopes will provide her with experience for future work as a lab technician.  In addition to SCUBA diving, she enjoys painting, playing beach volleyball and is interested in anything sci-fi.

Kascia White, 20, is a rising senior at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia where she is majoring in biology with a minor in psychology.  As a Bermuda Program intern she’s spending the summer with Dr. Samantha De Putron in the Ocean Acidification Lab studying the variation in Porites astreodes larval fitness between the rim reef and patch reef.  However, this isn’t her first time at BIOS; Kascia actually began as a Waterstart student five years ago and has been returning every summer to continue gaining marine science research experience.   She loves animals and is interested in pursuing a career as a marine science veterinarian.

Colin Du, 28, recently graduated from Trent University with a M.S. in molecular biology.  He joins us this summer as part of the CABIOS program, which provides scholarships specifically for Canadian students.  Colin is working with Dr. Andrea Bodnar in the Molecular Discovery lab assessing the antioxidant capacity of three different species of sea urchins, including one with an average lifespan of 200 years!  He first heard about BIOS from a fellow student at Trent and went online to learn more about Dr. Bodnar’s work.  He is currently applying to dental school and, in his spare time, likes to cook and learn about world history.

Believe it or not, there are still more interns to introduce you to!  Stay tuned for another installment of the Summer Intern Blog to meet new faces and learn about their research experiences...