Welcome to my new website! Follow along on the underwater adventures that will result in my Master’s thesis!
This summer I started a new position as the Lab Manager of San Diego State University’s Coastal and Marine Institute Laboratory. My training period for this job corresponded with the anticipated start of my field season so, as things tend to go in subtidal ecology research, I am a little behind. A few gear and eustachian tube malfunctions later and I now have my three field sites! Two of them are marked with subsurface marker buoys (surface marker buoys tend to get stolen), the third is patiently waiting for me to return once this bout of congestion clears up.
Once I have all three sites marked, I will begin characterizing the benthic community. This will involve a series of point count transects where my dive buddy and I identify the species located directly below every 10 centimeters of a 20 meter long transect that has been layed out along the bottom. Just to randomize things, I plan to run a transect in each direction, North, South, East, and West, from the bolts that anchor my marker buoys to the bottom. Swimming one meter along both sides of these transects we will also count the Macrocystis pyrifera plants we encounter, count the number of stipes in each plant, and measure any juveniles. These data will give me an idea of the benthic diversity of each site and help me to track the growth of the preexisting Macro plants.
Stay tuned for my next post where I will give you some background on kelp forest ecology and begin exploring the ideas and questions I want to examine for my thesis.