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Life in the Lab

The Incredible Shrinking Cups: Welcome to the Cayman Abyss

deep sea, Life in the Lab, marine science, Natural Science, ScienceApril 5, 2013

One of the great traditions among deep-sea scientists is the shrinking of polystyrene cups by sending them down to our research sites. Polystyrene (or Styrofoam) is mostly empty space. When sent to the bottom of the sea, the massive pressure (an additional atmosphere for every 10 meters depths) squeezes the air out of these empty spaces […]

Advice I Took For Granted For Grad School

Life in the LabMarch 28, 2013

Over dinner one cold winter night my last year as an undergraduate, my advisor casually mentioned that unless I was offered a stipend, it wasn’t really an acceptance into graduate school. This was specific to my case to a certain degree – looking for a PhD program in the environmental sciences – but his words […]

Return from the Cayman Abyss: cruise post-mortem and some thoughts on media coverage

deep sea, Life in the Lab, marine science, Natural Science, ScienceMarch 1, 2013

At 7 AM EST on Monday, February 25, the ROV Isis rose from the depths of the Cayman Abyss, bringing to a close the 82nd cruise of the RRS James Cook. During JC82, we explored two recently discovered hydrothermal vents fields in the Cayman Trough: Von Damm, named for the late marine geochemist Karen Von […]

Surviving Grad School: What to expect from your stipend

Life in the Lab, ScienceJanuary 29, 2013

Welcome to graduate school. If you’re enrolled in a Ph.D. program in the sciences, you should expect to get a stipend. Stipends vary significantly depending on the program and university that you’re enrolled in. Some schools guarantee five years of support, some only guarantee one. Masters programs may or may not provide a stipend. The quality of the stipend […]

Bring the trench to the bench or bring the bench to the trench? The future of deep-sea exploration

deep sea, Life in the Lab, marine science, Natural Science, ScienceJanuary 15, 2013

Newsweek, in is new and impressive digital format, released a series of articles this week on deep-sea exploration, the challenges of human occupied and remotely-operated vehicles, and the decline in funding for ocean science, particularly in the deep sea. The main article, The Last Dive? Funding for Human Expeditions in the Ocean May Have Run Aground, […]

Establishing Best Practices to Minimize Waste in a Conservation Genetics Lab

Conservation, Core Themes for 2012, Environmentalism, Focus on Nuance, Life in the Lab, Science, Sustainability

I am, among other things, a conservation geneticist. What that means is that I use the tools of molecular ecology and population genetics to make observations about species and populations in at-risk ecosystems, assess the status of anthropogenically disturbed populations, and generate data that has direct applications to conservation and management issues. Essentially, the only […]

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