Friday, January 30, 2015

Guppy videos

Here are some high-speed videos I have taken recently of guppies feeding on two prey types: relatively easy to catch brine shrimp nauplii, and very difficult to catch freshwater copepods.  The copepod trial just happened today, and I am excited that I have found an evasive prey to challenge these guppies.  Since I want to look at differences between populations, I need a prey that's going to make them work.  Otherwise, those differences might be hard to find.

Without further ado...
A guppy capturing brine shrimp:

and a guppy capturing (or rather not capturing!) a copepod:

**All procedures were approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at Colorado State University**

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015!

Since January 2014, I have completed my dissertation, graduated, moved to Colorado, started a postdoc position, and participated in a symposium at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology.  These are no small tasks, and I wouldn't have been able to do it without the support of my family, friends, and advisors.  Participating in the symposium was actually a really nice way to conclude my life as a student and stand on my own two feet as an independent researcher.  The talk went extremely well and I could tell it got at least a few people thinking.  Thanks to everyone for their supportive comments!  I will be sure to post as soon as the ICB paper is available online.

SICB 2015: Sandy Kawano (NIMBioS, Knoxville, TN), Me, Kathleen Foster
(UCR, Riverside, CA), and Jeff Olberding (USF, Tampa, FL)

Looking forward to 2015, I have lots of plans, though they don't seem as defining and conclusive as those of 2014.  Some of my major tasks for this year include:

1.  Developing my outreach program in Fort Collins, CO
2.  Collecting feeding video for up to 20 individual guppies from 4 populations to describe feeding kinematics and differences with integration along environmental gradients
3.  Automating as much of my video analysis as possible (yes, I will share if it works!)
4.  Publishing guppy results
5.  Polishing up the data from the last chapter of my dissertation (bluegill) and finish analyzing two additional species not included in my dissertation (bass and green sunfish)
6.  Publishing final dissertation results
7.  Presenting final dissertation results at the Society for Experimental Biology meeting in Prague, Czech Republic this summer
8.  Another trip to Trinidad to collect guppies and start on breeding design for common garden experiment to test for genetic and environmental effects on performance integration
9.  Guest lecture/help develop content for Kim Hoke's "biological basis of behavior" class this spring

By making this list, I am hoping it will keep me accountable!  At any rate, completing just a handful of these tasks is a big accomplishment!