Since my last update a lot has occurred. We took our exam, started developing and testing our questions for our research project, went to Dunn’s River Falls, did some shopping in Ocho Rios, and went snorkeling in Rio Bueno. Our research project is the thing that weighs heavily on most of our minds these days.
Bianca and I started our project thinking we were going to be studying Damsel fish aggression towards other species. We tried several different methods of measuring and observing in the lab but nothing was working for us. After many attempts and many failures we decided to take our research and do a 180. We have now decided to look at sea urchins, Tripneustes ventricosus and Lytechinus variegatus, and what they prefer to cover themselves with.
We took samples from the mangrove area of the bay and also samples from the turtle grass area closer to the reef crest. Within the first 24 hours of developing our question and collecting our samples we had already done four trials with some interesting results. Today we started our field observations, Bianca in the mangroves and me out near the reef crest. Swimming out there was difficult because I was swimming against the current and the water was very choppy. I am slowly being able to manage a camera and a clipboard while writing down what I see. We only have a few days left here and we still have many more tests to run and soon we will be working on our final presentation. Hopefully we will have some success with our project and get home safely at the end of the week.