Ongoing Work

“You just don’t understand me!!” yelled the angry teenage lichen

And unlike most teenage humans, lichen, you would be right. Lichens are incredible organisms, and we understand so little about how they arise, exist, and respond to their surroundings. Lichens are the symbiosis between a fungus, a unicellular green or brown alga or cyanobacterium, and many, many colonizing bacteria. What looks like one colorful, fleshy, … Continue reading “You just don’t understand me!!” yelled the angry teenage lichen

FLAVI Results…

Hi again! After a ton of work, during which we collected kelp meristems, Tethered them into their individual flumes (shallow flow tanks), Incubated them lovingly for two weeks (four times! In July, August, October, and December!), Harvested and measured them (look how much they grew!), And dried them and ground them to a fine powder … Continue reading FLAVI Results…

Phantastically Phabulous Phaeophyceae Photomicrographs

Get ready. These are the best. These are hand sections cut by myself and Paige Prentice, then stained with toluidine blue in the Pittermann Lab at UCSC. We stained the sections for contrast, because we were doing our best to find undamaged sieve elements in thick sections. Even more incredible are the electron microscope photos … Continue reading Phantastically Phabulous Phaeophyceae Photomicrographs

Respirometer – Fish + Kelp = Photosynthometer

In January of this year and in 2014, I invaded the NOAA NMFS SWFSC (our glorious branch of the federal National Marine Fisheries Service), where they let me use their glorious Loligo respirometer. The respirometer isĀ perhaps the most awesome animal physiology tool ever. A respirometer is essentially a sealed chamber in which an animal is … Continue reading Respirometer – Fish + Kelp = Photosynthometer

Dear Pigment Extraction: Why are you such a pain in the *$$?

This past winter, Jose Ayala and I extracted the key pigments for photosynthesis–fucoxanthin, chlorophyll a, and chlorophyll c–faithfully, every day, within 24 hours of measuring each kelp sample in the flume respirometer. We used the method of Seely et al 1972, which employs methanol, acetone, and dimethyl sulfoxide to extract the two pigment types. We … Continue reading Dear Pigment Extraction: Why are you such a pain in the *$$?