Hawaii Field Course, Big Island, Jan 2011

In January 2011, Ian traveled to Hawaii to participate in the bienniel Tropical Field Ecology class run by Cornell’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. This class brought graduate students from Cornell and the University of Hawaii, Hilo together to study the ecology of coral reefs, anchialine ponds, and forest, as well as learn about Hawaiian culture. The class finished with a group project targeting one of these environments. Ian helped instruct a project examining virus-like particle and Vibrio abundance in coral mucus using SYBR Green I microscopy and cultivation, comparing human impacted and pristine reefs. The net result of this project – viruses are completely variable in abundance between coral heads, and there was no correspondence between human impacts and Vibrio counts in coral mucus.