With only a few more days upon us, everyone is working hard to collect as much data as possible before our time in Jamaica runs out. From snorkeling to running trials in the wet lab, everyone is constantly busy.
Susan and I spend our day running trials and taking data every two hours throughout the day. Our experiment has been working a lot more smoothly since we switched topics from Damselfish aggressive behavior to looking at the covering material preference of two different species of sea urchins, Tripneustes ventricosus and Lytechinus variegates. We have run various trials in the lab where we have provided the urchins with bendable and non-bendable material in order to look for a covering preference. We have also been using both natural materials the urchins would typically come across in the wild, as well as artificial material they most likely are not familiar with.
On top of these controlled experiments in the lab, we have also gone out snorkeling to do field observations in the bay. Yesterday was an especially difficult day! The scuba diving trip yesterday morning was cancelled due to the windy weather, yet nonetheless Susan and I made our way into the choppy water after lunch in order to collect another day’s worth of observational data. Writing down notes while snorkeling and being thrown around by waves is not a fun thing to do! However, it needed to get done, and we were able to obtain a lot of useful data that we spent the afternoon analyzing. With only a few days left in Jamaica, it is definitely crunch time to get everything done before going back to New York.