All posts by Justin

I am currently a graduate student at Kent State University earning a PhD in Aquatic Ecology. My research interests lie primarily in community ecology of stream and wetland ecosystems. Apart from academia, I am deeply passionate about ska, computers, and photography.

A couple videos from the lab!

While covering protists in Principles of Biology II this week, the samples I projected to the class were quite exciting, so I created a few quick videos. And it’s been ages since I’ve shared anything on here… so, here’s a video of an engulfed Paramecium inside of an Chaos amoeba (badass genus, but not quite as cool as the yabby, Cherax descructor).

The amoeba is actively crawling around with pseudopods, and there are some other contaminate ciliates, including other Paramecium. Additionally, there are rotifers buzzing around and attaching themselves to the amoeba’s membrane, occasionally succumbing to the voracious predator. But, and this always blows my mind, rotifers are animals, composed of at least 1000 cells, while the amoeba is a single cell (although one of the largest)—look at the difference in scale!

The second video was also surprising. Normally, Pediastrum doesn’t pose much of a problem for students to find, since it’s relatively large and the colonies are abundant and sessile, not to mention bright green. This semester, there were some struggles across multiple section of the course, possibly because the algae weren’t doing well in their vial. So, I projected it only to find small moving swiggles bombarding the Pediastrum. My first thought were motile gametes or spores, but a colleague pointed out that their gametes and spores are more-or-less spherical…and these are spiral-like. My next thought—Sprillium bacteria! HUGE!

Sunset at La Roca

I’ve captured a new sunset timelapse from Palo Verde using an Olympus Tough Stylus TG-4 set to capture a single image every 10 seconds and combining the images with iMovie.

The first video displays each of 149 photos for 0.1 secs, while the second video displays photos for 0.2 secs and appears more choppy.

These two videos joins several others that I produced and posted in 2009:

Taking off for Little Tybee

On a foggy, January morning, Kevin, Mike and I took off from the south side of Tybee Island to camp a night on Little Tybee, an uninhabited barrier island and nature preserve.

I’ve not been able to identify what entity manages the preserve, but it seems that camping is allowed, which suggests that it’s not a national refuge like the nearby Wassaw Island or under an easement and privately owned like Ossabaw Island.