Sunday, November 21, 2010

Knauss Fellowship Week

I have just returned from Washington D.C. where I had the chance to interview with a variety of government agencies as part of the Knauss SeaGrant Fellowship program. The other fellows in the program could not have been nicer, or more accomplished people in the field of marine sciences and policy.

On Friday we all sat in a room and decided which offices we would spent the next year with. The choice was difficult to make but I have decided to work with NOAA DARRP. This will be a unique opportunity to participate in one of the most historic oil spill projects in history as part of the damage assessment and restoration team.

I look forward to starting the new position and moving to the DC area in February!

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Team Benthos Summer - Cross posted on Marine Sciences Blog

Team Benthos is at it again this summer! If you have walked around the Rankin Lab this summer you may have noticed graduate students and interns working hard maintaining a set of mesocosm tanks on the back patio. The mesocosms are part of an EPA funded project examining the effects of climate and land-use change on native and invasive species and their ecosystems in southern New England. Inside the tanks you will find eel grass, seaweeds, at least 4 different snails, oysters, as well as Team Benthos’ favorite group, the tunicates.

The project, in its second full year of operation, uses an automated system to regulate temperature and nutrient additions. Still, the mesocosms need plenty of TLC from the interns to make sure water is still running and the tanks are cleaned.

Also, Team Benthos has been conducting a survey of the shallow hard substrate benthic community from Branford, CT to Newport, RI. Divers have been documenting the benthic assemblage in order to make a comparison to previous surveys as well as establish a baseline for understanding rates and processes of change in our coastal environments. Last year divers documented a recently introduced species. Surveys are also necessary to document the persistence, spread or extirpation of this new invasive.

Other projects include our ongoing benthic recruitment monitoring, and predator experiments. If you have more questions check out and check out the map of some of the sites that have been surveyed and the images of the communities present!

View 2010 Team Benthos Coastal Subtidal Survey in a larger map

Monday, May 31, 2010

Official first report of Clavelina lepadiformis in NW Atlantic

The Team Benthos paper on Clavelina lepadiformis is on the web as a corrected proof. This was truly a team effort from members of the University of Connecticut's Department of Marine Sciences, utilizing diving, genetic, ecological and taxonomic expertise to get this work done! Check out the the paper... HERE.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Benthic Ecology Meeting 2010

The Benthic Ecology Meeting was quite a success in 2010. Held at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington from March 13-17, scientists from all over the USA and from as far away as Australia shared the latest research in benthic ecology. I presented work from the past summer entitled "Metacommunity Dynamics: A Marine Model System". I manipulated distances between 10cm X 10cm fouling communities to test theoretical predictions. The 12 minute presentation I gave illustrated the usefulness of the model system and provided evidence that indeed the experimental units operate as a 'metacommunity'.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Well, it has finally arrived. James Andrew Reinhardt has finally got his passport. I must say I have a lot more faith in the passport office then I do in the Social Security Administration. The SSA still has not been able to spell our last name correctly.

Getting a passport has it's own unique challenges. For instance, holding a baby off to the side for two minutes trying to kept your own body out of site while the photo is snapped. Which is not as bad as filing out all the forms at the US Post Office.

I can forget about all that now. Instead I will think about our first family trip to Europe!