22 Aug 2012

CCE LTER Cruise: Day 26, Copepods…

Posted by dlebental

Written by Dana Lebental, Teacher at Sea

August 22- Day 26

I have been told there are many ways to tie a knot, but did you know there are just as many ways to study an animal?

Copepods are type a of zooplankton that is commonly found here in the Pacific Ocean.They are related to crabs and lobsters, and are very small. There are two researchers here, Kat and Alexis, that are looking at these animals from two completely different points.

Meet Kat: She is an oceanography student looking at copepod reproduction.

Kat Copepod

Kat

Every few days for two weeks she went “fishing” with these bongo nets for copepods.

Bongo

Bongo

When the nets came in, she sorted all of the animals under a microscope until she found female copepods. Each female would be placed in a little dish and monitored every hour to see if it laid eggs. If she did lay eggs, she was removed from her eggs (so she wouldn’t egg them) and then Kat would watch the eggs for two days to see how many of the eggs hatched.

 

Meet Alexis: we flew him out here from France, because of his expertise with the Underwater Visual Profiler (UVP) (the blue tubes sticking out at the bottom of the CTD). The UVP is a fancy camera attached to the CTD. When the CTD is lowered into the water, the UVP takes pictures every second so we can have an inventory of all of the plants and animals directly in the path.

Alexis

Alexis

When the CTD comes back to the surface, Alexis spends a lot of time in front of the computer sorting all of the images from marine snow to copepods. By doing this, we can calculate how many copepods are found in this area.

Here are a few of the images he found:

 

copepod

copepod

copepod_2.1
copepod_2

 

 

krill

krill

 

Jellyfish

Jellyfish

 

Although Kat and Alexis work in to different areas of oceanography, by being able to work on projects together, like this cruise, they will be able to tackle problems from different angles. The the nature of oceanography is interdisciplinary. And, it sure has been fun to watch all these great minds coming together!

 

 

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