Category: Blogs

Investigating Human-Induced Evolution: Is a shift in ecotype associated with greater variability?

After spending the past three weeks in various solutions (some rather toxic), sixty of the fish that we collected in Alaska this summer have undergone somewhat of a radical transformation                 These fish,

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My babies’ hearts are beating!

  Although I partook in the fertilization of hundreds (thousands?) of eggs while in Alaska, I did not get the opportunity to follow their growth closely. As part of a new project regarding potential plasticity of pelvic spine growth, I

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The Trouble with Mussels Is…

The freshwater pearl mussel has a unique life cycle that includes female mussels ingesting sperm from the surrounding water to fertilize their eggs. Once the eggs are fertilized the female is considered gravid, or pregnant. The fertilized eggs (glochidia) are

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Unionoid Treasure Hunt

For the last few weeks, the stream team has gone mussel crazy. We have been, for the most part, contributing to Hannah’s project of obtaining DNA samples from freshwater pearl mussels (Margaritifera margaritifera) all over the drainage of the east

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Pictures of sticklebabies!

Now that the feeding performance tests are over, our “sticklebabies” are moving on to bigger and better things. Miguel has taken a good chunk of the fry for his research and has started them on a special diet, each family

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Last day of testing!

Today marks the last day of feeding performance tests for the Alaskan fry! As of today, the 9 stickleback populations have each been tested 3 times. The last group that we received back in early June, consisting of the Willow,

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The Charmed Life

Working and living with a small group of people can be draining, especially when you’re putting in the long hours that we are to try to find as many stickleback as possible. Luckily, a good crew [like ours] will make

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Swimming with Stickles

Newfoundland is an amazing place, and an amazing place to look for stickleback.  We found stickleback in most of the ponds we looked for them in, but one of my favorites was Western Brook Pond.  This location was a 3-kilometer

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We Seine in the Rain: The Beginnings of a Newfoundland Adventure

Several packed days into this Newfoundland adventure, our team has already experienced a range of successes and emotions, from abject failure to thrilling triumph. Below are some tidbits and highlights from the trip so far! The All-star Crew: Jenna Kosmo: Rising

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Could we borrow a moment of your time and a quart jar of fish?

Dear Alaskans, Though we may not be your typical neighbor, stopping by to request a cup of sugar, we mean no harm.  You see, gaining access to lakes is a peculiar business for us, since many are private with no

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Feeding our fragile fry

The feeding performance tests have begun! Last Friday Jenna, Kendall and I performed our first test on the Anchor River, Rabbit Slough and Resurrection Bay populations and this Wednesday we did our first test on the the Whale, Bear Paw

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Window seat: one last gift from Alaska

I had every intention of sleeping on my 9:25pm flight out of Anchorage to Minneapolis, but the mesmerizing views from my window seat caught my attention and refused to let go for quite some time. At first, my mind is

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A Stickleback Spectacle

“When you finally see what goes on underwater, you realize that you’ve been missing the whole point of the ocean. Staying on the surface all the time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the

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“How to Milk Macroinvertebrates”

  So, the free snapping of a digital camera can catch the funniest things. Today was the first day of Gaby’s macroinvertebrate sampling in Brooks Woodland. From our early morning start, we knew it would be a hot, muggy day.

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Are you a cub or a mama bear?

I was asked this question on one of the first days in Alaska. The logic behind the question was to see if I consider myself one of the faculty members running the trip or one of the students. Now that

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Alaska?!

“Do I want to go where?!” I thought incredulously as I held my phone to my ear, still in my towel. Well maybe it went more like “Whaa…Huuuh…Whaaa?”. I had heard my phone ring while brushing my teeth after having

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Baby Stickleback!

Stickleback embryos everywhere!  This week we got our first and second shipments of embryos from the folks up in Alaska.  We’ve been preparing for the arrival for some time now and we finally got the ball rolling.  We had to

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Pickled Stickles: How to catch the stickleback of your dreams

Our second day in Alaska, we headed down to the Kenai (pronounced Key-nigh) Peninsula to collect some stickleback. The drive was stunning (as usual), and I couldn’t stop taking pictures of the mountains. The first lake we stopped at was

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Mussel Madness!

My first introduction to Margaritifera margaritifera, the freshwater pearl mussel, occurred during a stream site visit in the Spring of 2010. Brittany Laginhas (’10), a senior at the time, planned to conduct Masters research on the population distribution and habitat

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Stickleback do not make nests in sand-filled plastic dishes!

Live, wild, behavior-doing stickles! We stopped at Rabbit Slough (an anadromous population we keep “stocked” in the lab), just to take a quick look, and there they were!  John spotted them in a flash.  My first thought was these fish are huge and make

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A New Start

At long last, we’ve arrived in Alaska! Our weary crew has assembled from all parts of the globe (okay, several stateside locations) to study the threespine stickleback. The flight into Anchorage from Seattle is beautiful, especially because sun was still

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Up and Away: Journey to Alaska

5/28 After catching three flights, one only by running through the Chicago airport, and 15 hours of travel, I was caught off guard by one of the most stunning views I have ever seen.  I may just be saying most

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Clark has a new Stream Team!

Last year, I experienced for the first time the joy of sitting in a stream on a hot, humid summer day, with my impermeable waders keeping me dry while allowing the cooling and soothing effects of the ripples rushing to

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