Emphasizing the non-stop nature of the Team Aquatic Virus’ lab, no sooner had Ian stepped foot back in Ithaca after a successful time travel expedition had he started to pack for a research cruise in January. This winter is promising to be a busy one – at the end of the month, Ian, Elliot and Kalia will travel to Australia to work with scientists at the University of Queensland to understand the diversity of viruses in tropical echinoderms in Moreton Bay and Heron Island. And immediately after that, all three will be joined by Jacob and Mitch to participate on a research cruise on the R/V Clifford Barnes in the Puget Sound in search of deepwater sea stars, larvae, and other environmental reservoirs. Normally winter is a time of merriment and holidays, but for our team it’s a time of adventure!
On Thursday and Friday, Ian finalized shipment (via Fedex Ground – the most economical way of shipping stuff) of 11 boxes to Seattle. Inside these 11 boxes are all the research supplies needed for a 6 day cruise, including microscope, buckets, nets, coolers, and biopsy materials for recovered sea stars. When granted a research cruise, you basically get a blank slate, so you need to bring everything. You even need to bring paper towels and sponges!
Stay tuned in coming weeks to learn more about our expedition to Australia and plans for the Puget Sound! And Happy American Thanksgiving to everyone!!