Getting ready for our own winter adventure!

Reading about the work of Anson Mackay and his collaborators on Lake Baikal has been making me excited to get started on our own winter work!

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IT WILL NEVER FIT IN THE SUITCASE!!!

In two days I will be flying to Moscow where I will meet with Paul Wilburn, and together we will fly to Irkutsk. The plan is to meet up with our Russian collaborators in Irkutsk, go grocery and SIM card shopping in the city and then make the ice-road trek from Listvyanka to the BioStation at Bol’shie Koty. Kirill and Sasha have been at BK for a few days now, getting the lab and living quarters ready and clearing a path to the outhouse through the snow. With Sasha’s and Kirill’s help we hope to accomplish a number of things during the two weeks we will spend at the Lake. Paul will work on isolating endemic Baikal algae to bring back to Michigan, and will also collect algae that we will send to Ed, Mariska and Teo in Texas.  In the meantime I hope to spend some quality lab time with my favorite Baikal critter: Epischura baikalensis. Paul and I will also collect winter Epischura for Lev and Larry who will run genetic analyses on the samples, looking for differences between summer and winter populations. Finally, Paul and I will try to carry out a spatial survey to look at the distribution of under-ice algae and figure out what environmental parameters can help predict their presence and abundance. And, of course, as we plan our winter work we try to keep in mind the wise words of Woody Allen: “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans”. That is to say that field work at remote sites rarely goes according to the neat and orderly plans that you make from the comfort of your warm office…

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Ok, it fits…

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