Friday, October 16, 2009
Yesterday (October 15th, 2009), Dave Hudson and I were taking some survey photos in Stonington Harbor, New London Co., CT. We were just checking out the usual fouling community species Botrylliodes violaceus, Didemnum vexillum, Bugula neritina, (all invasives) when Dave pointed to something different. I immediately got excited. I have never seen this species before. So I started snapping some pictures. Dave and I took a sample so that we (or maybe Lauren Stefaniak) can make a more exact species identification latter in the lab.
Well after doing some preliminary investigation on the internet, the species is almost certainly of the genus Clavelina order Aplousabranchia. The common name is the "light bulb tunicate". I would say that it is quite a good looking species, but I don't know if it belongs here. Please let me know if you are familiar with this species. Have you seen it in Long Island Sound before?
This past summer I worked with a high school student on a Connecticut SeaGrant funded project to gather preliminary data of the biomass of hard-substrate epifaunal communities, also affectionately called fouling communities. It was a great pleasure to work with Olivia Fortunato, I only hope that she got as much out of the project as I did. The research we did this past summer has laid a great foundation for future work investigate biomass and energy flow in benthic communities.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Dave Hudson is a PhD student at the University of Connecticut in the Department of Physiology and Neurobiology. His dissertation is on the ecophysiology of invasive crabs on the New England and East coast United States. Naturally, he has established close collaborations with other scientist and students in the Department of Marine Sciences (DMS) an the Marine Science and Technology Center. DMS and MSTC, through the dive program and boat operations, help supply Dave with the necessary resources to undertake his research.