Bringing the Ocean to Central New York

Microbial Ecology of Sea Star Wasting Disease

Work has commenced on our new project, and my hope is to keep this site updated with blogs of our progress as it happens. Part of the challenge of working in upstate/central New York (7 hrs from the ocean…) is maintaining live marine animals for experiments. It’s not quite as simple as bringing them in a bucket of seawater and putting in an airstone 🙂 Marine invertebrates, especially sea stars, are enormously sensitive to seawater chemistry, and are generally pretty “gooey” – they exude a large amount of mucus when they’re upset. Hence, once they come in, we will have to perform numerous, daily water changes, and there has to be adequate filtration for them to be maintained. Add to this the fact that we are hitting them with a pathogen, so we can’t have any cross-contamination. Plus, we also need to keep them fed and happy for the duration…

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