The cruise is less than two weeks away, and all the labs are hard at work preparing. In the Ohman lab, this requires preparing lots of filters for analyzing the biomass and gut fluorescence of zooplankton that we will pull up in the bongo nets. First, this requires cutting lots and lots of 47 mm filters. The quickest way to do this? Heating up a 47 mm “cookie cutter” and using it to cut through 202 μm Nitex.

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Those filters are then used for three things: biomass, gut fluorescence, and gut contents.  To measure biomass, the filters were desiccated for 24 hours and then weighed, as Jeff Ellen is seen doing below.  After the cruise, the filters and their newly obtained zooplankton biomass will be again desiccated and weighed.

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To measure gut contents, the filters are glued in cups that have holes drilled in the bottom and top (not pictured-Ben Whitmore drilling all those holes!).   Here Laura Lilly glues the filters in the fume hood (the glue is fragrant!) while Cat Nickels burns more filters.

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The cups are then pre-numbered and boxed up for the cruise. The gut fluorescence filters are put in plastic petri dishes and pre-numbered, as are the desiccated, weighed biomass filters. There’s a lot to keep track of, but Jenni Brandon seems to have a handle on it!

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