Monday, September 10, 2012

Catching Up

August 2, 2012

Making Plans

Today was a day of lecture and planning. In the morning, we had our lecture on Algae, Biofilm, and Phytoplankton. I had not really heard much about biofilm before, so it was interesting to hear about it. Biofilm is that "slimy stuff" on rocks that you find in lakes and streams. It is essentially a collection of microorganisms that adhere to a surface. Such microorganisms such as bacteria, form a matrix of polymeric compounds that protects the cells and assists physical and chemical communication between microorganisms. (For more info, check out this link about biofilms)

I was a bit sleepy during lecture today from staying up writing the night before, but the lecture was interesting and engaging, and I managed to stay focused. It is difficult adjusting my sleep schedule due to my previous summer sleep schedule. I was used to getting up much later around 9am because of summer vacation, and now I was suddenly waking up every morning at 7am. Luckily, we had access to coffee and/or tea every morning which made the transition easier.

Today after lecture, we met up with our advisers and began to finalize our project. Piet, our graduate student adviser, sat down with my group and I, and discussed project ideas. We decided to look at this new parasite, a gill monogenean, that has been observed in Lake Constance. The overall general plan we came up with with that we would sample 100 young Eurasian Perch (0+) from two sides of the lake, and look for presence, prevalence, abundance, and intensity of this gill monogenean. We also decided that we would look for the larvae of the pike tapeworm, which encysts in the liver of the Eurasian Perch, and also look at their presence, prevalence, abundance, and intensity.

Towards the evening, two of my friends in the group and I went out to town. We took a stroll through the new and old part of town, and took pictures. It was very relaxing, and we just walked around looking at the water and the birds. We walked until the sun set, and stopped by the water to see the moon out overlooking the lake, near where the Rhine river runs, next to a beautiful willow tree. It was a romantic sight, and I was glad to be sharing such a beautiful moment with my friends.

Liz and I on the bridge

The bridge and a boat
Boats lined up
A great view of Constance
Moonlight over the water
- Emily 

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