Friday, June 26, 2009
Friday already? Phew! It's been a busy week. This week has been 'coral spawning' week for one Hawaiian species, Montipora. This species spawns at the new moon at 9pm for 4 nights in a row. One of my students works on the reproduction of this species and I've been wanting to trial some of my Antarctic experiments on a local coral, so it's been a busy week of late nights and finally finished up last night.
The corals we were working on were over on Coconut Island (which was once used as the backdrop for Gilligan's Island!), so i've been going back and forth across the island since sunday to work at the laboratory and aquariums over there. It's fun though, you get to take a boat to work!
Jackie has been working on these corals for a few years now and usually collects the eggs and sperm from colonies living in the bay (so night snorkeling), but this year she decided to bring up some colonies into tanks and work with them from there. This worked great! Was much easier (okay, so not as cool, but easier!) and meant we didn't have to get into the cold, windy, sharky water!
Cawa, Fabio and Lindsey, three of the fabulous volunteers who came out to help for one night. As the corals all spawn at once at 9pm for around 15 minutes, it's a scrabble to collect, document and get experiments started. So these volunteers have been fabulous and vital, helping to collect and document, while we can run off and start our experiments. As light effects the corals reproduction, everyone was outfitted with red headlamps.
So I'm looking forward to the weekend. Even more so because I am dogsitting for my favorite Hawaiian pups - Barkley and Goofy. Jenny and Doug have gone on a "tour" of the USA, visiting family and friends and showing off the cute little Hannah. I'll miss them for the next few weeks, but am already enjoying some dog time!