At the same time, the Al Jazeera crew was interviewing us about our loggers, research goals, and the availability of our data to other researchers. We then had a tour of undergrads from Loyola College in Chicago ask questions about my dissertation project at CBC. Given that my initial interest in marine biology came from a similar personal encounter, I appreciate the importance of outreach and hope to return the favor to a new researcher in the field.
We then conducted one dive to 130ft at a site known as Raph’s Wall to survey M. cavernosa abundance and deploy the first deep loggers. This reef was incredible! There was a straight drop-off from the crest at 60 feet down to about 170-180 feet, with my species found at both depths! This will definitely be one of my transplant sites.
Tomorrow we are returning to Raph's wall to check on the loggers and to sample my species for some preliminary genotyping and gene expression analyses. I will be putting up some more photos on the lab Flickr tonight, but low internet bandwidth will prevent me from uploading all the reef photos until we get back to the States.