Thursday, April 23, 2009

All Work, Some Play

So I've been busy with work and home and family and such and I feel bad about not posting with all of the neato pictures I've taken. I've been at Nautilus for over two years now, and along the way I've been collecting pictures of cool stuff I've run into there.  I get to do tests on different aquatic creatures from fish to shrimp to mussels to worms, and since work takes up most of my time, I figured I should share some of the pictures of what I spend so much time on.

Here's one of the most fun things to do. Mussel spawning! We take a bunch of mussels and warm them up to a certain temperature to get them to spawn, and then put males and females in separate cups to collect their gametes for later testing.

I always keep my camera with me for occasions when the stars align and we get the equivalent of seeing Lincoln on a piece of burnt toast.  Maybe not so spectacular, but a smiley face on our stir plate?

And this one is from counting vials under an inverted microscope.  Often in these test vials there's bits of debris, and like clouds in the sky sometimes you see shapes in them.  Maybe just me, but I see a frog run over by a car.

There's also some strange, often smelly things that happen. Like! Biofoam.  This is what happens when you aerate a tank full of herring eggs attached to kelp.

Sometimes when we're doing tests we run into creatures that have tagged along.  Especially in sediment tests.  We get sediment to test from many different places, and sometimes there are surprises from those places.  Like a dobsonfly larvae!

Or, sometimes, we get worms.  Frightening, wriggly, red, many many many legged. Worms.  Polychaetes to be exact.  Neanthes nereis is the species name... Be glad I didn't post a video to show you their nightmarish nature.

Every day we write on our white boards the different tasks of the day.  There's dilutions to be made, tests to be checked, to be renewed, to be set up, to be ended... And sometimes there are bonus tasks.

Rothko is unimpressed, and enjoying the sun.  This is what he does all day while Andy and I are at work earning his catfood.

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