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.

Río Abuela

Rio Abuela

A river Mike sampled for fish was named after the land it drained: Brian’s grandmother’s house and surrounding farm. Brian, Mike’s assistant and friend, is an 18 year-old Costa Rican born and raised on the Osa. His grandmother’s farm, pictured here, was unbearably hot. The picture doesn’t really do the terrain justice; are there any suggestions on how to reduce a flattening effect in photos with lots of depth of field? (or maybe that’s impossible without stereo-lenses)

San Jose

drugs-and-money-3-20-2009-7-11-08-pm Upon arrival in San Jose, Mike and I made some exchanges at the bank, resulting in a a large stack of colones.  I moved from San Jose last night and am currently at one of my mentor’s parents-in-law’s house in San Pedro, a 10 min bus ride to UCR instead of a 45 min one. Plus there is good, grandmotherly, cooked typical tico (Costa Rican) breakfast and dinner.

Dry Season Crabs

Let me know if you know the sepcies or group
Let me know if you know the sepcies or group

At Campanario, in the Osa Peninsula, there were land crabs everywhere during the night. They were beautifully colored and I caught a couple of them consuming fallen, decomposing leaves near a stream, which is of course interesting to me.  They were much more abundant this March than in January.

Farewell Rio WTF

My first post from Costa Rica is a farewell to the first leg of my trip.  This morning, at 4:30 AM, Allison and Erin climbed into a taxi for the airport, and so ended our three week excursion to the Osa and premontane rain-forest.  I find it fitting then to post a picture of the four of us posing atop the first cascade of several in a river we dubbed Rio WTF.  The river’s original name (Koyok) was immediately revoked when we realized that we would need to climb two waterfalls and a mountain to collect leaf samples from it (Mike and I were able to do it in under 10 sec with minor injuries).  If you’re not aware of what the new name’s acronym stands for, google it.

In under 12 seconds, I climbed the waterfall and posed for the timed photograph.
In under 12 seconds, I climbed the waterfall and posed for the timed photograph.

Alberto Manuel Brenes Biological Reserve

I will be staying in a field station at the Alberto Manuel Brenes Biological Reserve outside of San Ramon, Costa Rica for nearly two weeks.  There are several activities planned for our stay here, including (1) research on litter transport and retention in streams and (2) finding cool amphibians and reptiles.  The pictures posted here were taken within the field station.  The entrance is shown on the left, and a view of some clouds rolling through the rain forest from the ‘gallery’ is on the right.cloud-forest-1-3-2008-9-28-37-amalberto-m-brenes-biological-reserve-1-3-2008-1-44-11-pm

Monstrego

monstrego-9-25-2008-10-31-30Monstrego, my male red ear slider (Trachemys scripta elegans), comes up to breath in his 55-g tank.   Monstrego and Barzini are currently in the same tank, and Monstrego is constantly courting Barzini, although I haven’t seen him successfully breed this year.  Barzini has laid three clutches that I’m aware of, none of which  had any hatchlings emerge.  Luckily though, these turtles can live upwards of 30 years if well cared for, and both of mine are about six.  I’ll get a hatchling one of these times…