For our group, zooplankton season has begun! We have been out on the boat a few times already to collect samples for the lab. On Monday, the Russian scientists were sampling too, so it was great to be able to see their work and sampling methods (not to mention borrow some of their equipment- we didn’t bring a van Dorn sampler of our own, so they’re letting us use theirs to collect water samples).
Our lab is currently working with Epischura baicalensis, an endemic copepod that is incredibly abundant in Baikal. We’ve been doing temperature tolerance experiments which involve holding Epischura at different temperatures in the lab and checking to see which temperatures prove more fatal over time. So far, we’ve been surprised at the hardiness of the Epischura under lab conditions! We’ve got more planned for these little guys throughout the summer, so I hope they’re prepared.
On an interesting note, on our tows for Epischura we’ve been bringing up a fair number of larval Golomyanka– a species of fish that is also endemic to Baikal. I’ve yet to see an adult in person, but from what I hear they’re quite interesting to look at. The larva alone are interesting with their long bodies and huge mouths.
Marianne has suggested that I take lots of photos so I’m taking this opportunity to shove some more into my post- Here’s a photo of the lake and some of the landscape, which I hope shows a small amount of the beauty of this place.
And lastly, our lab blackboard. I have been told that the Russian writing is a phrase that means “Every day we work very hard!” which I find appropriate.