Tuesday, July 30, 2013

24 Hours Cruise on the R/V Atlantic Explorer




Last Thursday I, Kätchen Lachmayr, education intern here at BIOS, was presented with the unique opportunity to venture aboard the Atlantic Explorer and join them on a short two-day cruise to Hydrostation S and BATS.

Saying goodbye to BIOS

The AE departed from BIOS at approximately 11am on Thursday, after a safety meeting where we were instructed on where life jackets were, how to deploy a life raft, and practicing how to put on a survival suit.  The there were a total of 22 people on this voyage, five of them were other BIOS interns: Michel Chang, Ashley Berry, Will Halliday, and David Picton. 





The first stop was Hydrostation, which took about 2 hours to get to from BIOS. Once the AE arrived at Hydrostation, a CTD (left) was lowered into the water, and down to 4,000 meters! On the outside of this contraption were about 40 jugs that open at different depths to collect the seawater. Inside one of the labs on-board there is a computer that displays the depth that the device is at, the temperature and salinity of the water. It took a total of three hours to collect all the samples. The water samples are then used in number of the different labs back at BIOS, including CDOM and biogeochemistry.





The next stop was BATS, 50 miles off the coast of Bermuda! When the AE arrived at BATS a similar operation was conducted and the CTD was again lowered into the water to collect samples, this time only to 1,500 meters.  By the time all the samples at BATS had been collected it was midnight. A few other samples were collected for various labs, however I was not awake to see them. In the morning, we began our voyage back to BIOS a six-hour cruise from BATS.








Thankfully we had calm sea during the whole trip. This was quite the experience! 






MSI Independent Projects


MSI Independent Projects

In the last three days of their internship, the interns completed an independent project where they studied a fish that was of particular interest to them. They had four dives to conduct their research and then discussed their findings on Friday in a short presentation. This project required them to design their own experiments, data sheets, and determine which tools they would need. 



Four-eye Butterflyfish


For Michelle’s project, she was observing what Four-eye Butterflyfish ate. She completed her project by following the Four-eye Butterflyfish and recording what they ate and how many bits of food they took per minute.


























Ryan, JD, and Tyler were studying the territory size of the Yellowtail Damselfish. They did this by placing a small weight in what was believed to be the center of the fish’s territory. They then attempted to chase the fish away and measured how far the fish would go with a string attached to a float. The Yellowtail Damselfish never leave their territory so it was assumed that the distance the fish went was the length of the territory.





















Jonas was studying the number of piscivores, or fish eating fish, seen per minute. He did this using two methods, baited cameras and roving diver. His research found that the roving diver resulted in a greater number and diversity of piscivore sightings than the baited camera.

Trumpet Fish


Monday, July 22, 2013

Bermudian Interns for 2013 Summer at BIOS!


Meet the Bermudian Interns for 2013 Summer at BIOS!









Jecar Chapman, 21, recently graduated from Bermuda College with an associate in science degree, and is soon headed off to Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada to study Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. This is Jecar’s fourth year in the Bermuda Program. As a Bermudian intern he is working with Dr. Andrea Bodnar to continue the investigation of sea urchins as a model for a stem cell theory of anti-ageing.  When Jecar is not in the lab he enjoys snorkeling and fishing. One of Jecar’s favorite quotes from the lab is:
“If you don’t fail enough your not trying hard enough” –anonymous



Meredith Bibbings, 19, is going into her third year at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She is majoring in physiology with a minor in neuroscience. Once she graduates she is considering getting a masters degree or applying to medical school. This is her second year at BIOS. Currently, she is working to continue a project to identify the microbes within the fire sponge.  For this project she is trying to determine the communities of microbes surrounding and on the fire sponges, and if there could be a symbiotic relationship between the fire sponge and microbes. When she is not in the lab or studying she enjoys dancing and rowing.
Favorite math joke:
“Alcohol and calculus don’t mix, don’t drink and derive”




Rachel Barnes, 20, is studying at Bowdoin College in Maine. She is majoring in oceanographic science and economics. This is her first year here at BIOS. She is working with Natasha McDonald studying chromophoric dissolved organic matter, also known as CDOM. In studying CDOM, she is trying to figure out where it comes from and why light penetrates it in such a unique manner. One of her favorite things about BIOS is the diversity of the community. In her free time Rachel enjoys playing squash.
Favorite science joke:
“Two men walk into a Bar. The first man orders some H2O. The second man says good, I’ll have some H2O too. The second man dies.”





Ashley Berry, 21, is entering her senior year at Duke University where she is studying biology. Once she graduates she is thinking of pursuing medical school, or grad school for a masters in biology. This is her first year at BIOS. She is working with Natasha McDonald, using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry of Lignin, the compound that makes up the cell walls in plants. Her findings will be compared with CDOM findings to see if there are any similarities. When Ashley is not studying or working in the lab she runs track, as she competes with the Bermuda Jr. National team running the 1500 and 3K steeplechase.
Favorite Science Meme:








William Halliday, 21, is a recent graduate from Bangor University in Wales where he was studying geography. This is his first year interning here at BIOS. Will is working on a new project with Dr. Kristen Buck and Dr. Andrew Peters, to identify metals in Sargassum seaweed. The goal of the project is to identify what metals Sargassum seaweed is bringing into the Sargasso Sea and how these metals are contributing to biomagnification within Bermudian ecosystems.  Outside of work Will enjoys rock climbing and gardening.




Michel Johnston, 19, is a second year student at Penn State studying meteorology. Michel became interested in meteorology when he experienced Hurricane Fabian first hand. Once he began studying meteorology, the more he learned about the topic the more interested he became. This is his second year as an intern at BIOS. For his current project he is analyzing sea surface temperature data that has been collected since the 1950s as part of BATS to see if there are any trends that indicate climate change. Michel has also completed a training program with the Bermuda Weather Service and is now a qualified Meteorological Technician/Observer.




Christiana Halliday, 20, is entering her final year a Plymouth University in England studying environmental science. This is her third year here at BIOS. Christiana is working on a new project where she is looking at the pigmentation of corals to see if they can be successfully transplanted to deeper depths. When Christiana is not studying or doing research she enjoys playing ultimate frisbee and can make excellent brownies.
Favorite Science Pun:
“Never trust an atom... they make up everything”



Jorge Sanchez, 22, is entering his third year at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, where his is working toward a BS in biology. This is his fourth year here at BIOS. Currently Jorge is continuing work with Baited Remote Underwater Video Stations, BRUVS. Jorge is using the BRUVSs to determine the fish biodiversity and population density of the reefs around Bermuda. The information that he helps to collect will be used to manage the fishing industry and reef conservation efforts. In the time that Jorge has been at BIOS, he has received both rescue diver and science diving certifications, and has learned to operate the research vessels. Aside from SCUBA diving Jorge enjoys playing football and photography.
Related movie quote:
“Just keep swimming” –Dory, Finding Nemo




Celene Collis, 20, attends the University of Toronto where she is double majoring in ethics, society, and law, and biodiversity and conservation studies. This is her second year here at BIOS, where she is working with Dr. Eric Hochberg to continue studying beta diversity. Beta diversity is the comparison of population diversity between different reef sites around Bermuda. From this research she is hoping to determine what are the causes for the difference in the ecosystems around Bermuda. Celene enjoys SCUBA diving and dancing.
Favorite Science joke:
Gold walks into a bar. The bartender says “A u get outta here.”



Angus Lang, 21, recently graduated from the University of Glasgow, in Scotland, where he studied marine and freshwater biology.  Angus first discovered BIOS when he participated in the Ocean Academy waterstart program and became SCUBA certified. Ever since he has been fascinated with marine science and hopes to soon find a job in this field. Angus is working on a new project here at BIOS where he is perfecting the methodology of fish population comparison. To do this, he is analyzing data generated by Jorge Sanchez’s BRUV’s project and visual surveys conducted by Tim Noyes. This project will determine which method of surveying fish populations is more accurate and help to determine fish communities at different reef locations around Bermuda. When Angus is not working he enjoy playing golf and fishing.
Favorite science joke:
“What do you call a fish with no eyes? A FISH”


Friday, July 19, 2013

Daniel Maguire, BIOS Intern at Waterstart

Waterstart Intern Interview

Seventeen-year-old Daniel Maguire has been with BIOS for the past three years. After doing the Marine Science Internship at BIOS last summer, Daniel is working as an intern for Waterstart this year.

Discussing what it is like working for BIOS and the Waterstart program, he spoke with excitement and vivacity, "As an intern, I'm in the action of things and seeing all of this innovation and creativity going on with the water and with the marine environment of Bermuda. I love being a part of this progress and helping students who will be the next generation of explorers and scientists. They will be solving these large problems that we have with our current ecosystem." He enjoys watching the students grow as they become more aware of the ocean as he had enjoyed Waterstart immensely for two years. 

When it comes to working at BIOS, Daniel is very enthusiastic about his internship and encourages others to join." I would definitely recommend helping out with Waterstart as an intern. I would especially recommend it to those who have done Waterstart in the past because they understand what has been going on, and can continue the enjoyable experience. However for those who have not, Waterstart is just a great way to hop in the water and get to see so many amazing sites around Bermuda and to really see the island from the aspect of the water."

Daniel believes that everyone should take action when it comes to the problems that Bermuda's ecosystem is facing since it is becoming essential to preserve our beautiful coral reefs and marine life. He talks about how in comparison to other programs, Waterstart provides a range of activities interacting with the environment while scuba diving as well as education inside the lab. 
"I feel as though this program is really hands on working in the environment whereas some other programs may just discuss problems in the classroom. Others may just offer scuba diving and no other activities. However, Waterstart really takes it to the hands-on level so that you can actually see what's going on, how we are effecting it and what needs to be done to have things run smoother environmentally."

Daniel reflects fondly on his initial experiences with Waterstart, "When I first began Waterstart, my favourite part about it was being with friends and getting to experience the water from a whole new angle because it was my first experience scuba diving. It was amazing; I absolutely loved it." 

-Blog by Sophia Collis and Alice Graham-Welton 


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