It’s a peaceful day with the sun shining brightly in Siberia. The vast expanse of Lake Baikal stretches out across the horizon, framed by mountain peaks. Suddenly a breeze picks up, and it’s time to go out in the rowboat and grab the experiment before the weather changes. On a lake fondly referred to by some as “the adolescent” for it’s rapidly changing behavior, more characteristic of an ocean than a lake, timing is everything.
The team here on Lake Baikal, including Bart De Stasio from Lawrence University, is conducting a bag experiment in the near shore waters of Lake Baikal in an effort to discover the feeding preferences of the local copepod, Epischura. This native to Lake Baikal is incredibly important in the food web. It is often credited with cleaning the lake and is a staple in the transfer of energy from the primary producers of the lake up to the Nerpa, the fresh water seal of Lake Baikal. Through the experiment, we hope to discover which species and the size range of plankton on which Epischura prefer to feed.