Nicole’s blog

I have officially done my first scuba diving ‘post-certification’ as of yesterday, and since then, I have already logged three dives. It’s absolutely an amazing feeling to be underwater and swimming amongst schools of fish. I’m so glad I chose to get certified here because the instructor, Anthony, is great at making you feel totally comfortable while diving. The snorkeling is cool too but actual diving is a whole other experience. It’s a different environment and full of different species.

This week I began my research project which is to investigate the territorial behavior exhibited by herbivorous damsel fish on the Jamaican coral reefs. These fish maintain a territory which consists of algae which they “farm” or maintain by trimming the desirable species and removing those they do not want. These fish also fend of other herbivorous fish from their “farms” and remove debris. These fish play an important role in maintaining the health of coral reefs as algae can often overgrow the reefs and kill them. My research plan is observe the interaction of these fish with other fish, noting the food choices of fish which they encounter (herbivore vs carnivore). I will also be introducing herbivorous invertebrates into their farms to note their behavior and determine the radius of the farms. Let the fun begin!

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