Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Getting ready to go...

It's just three weeks until I head down to the Antarctic with two UMaine students and my technician Claudia. So things are really starting to ramp up, getting other work squared away, lab work finished, boxes packed and making sure we have absolutely everything we need to go on a research expedition. We've already sent most of our equipment down to Southern Chile, where it'll be loaded onto the ARV Nathaniel B. Palmer, ready for our cruise. Take a look over at our Expedition Blog, we'll be updating that as we head south!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Congratulations Dr. Padilla-Gamino!

Congratulations to Jackie, who passed her Ph.D. defense today in Hawaii. Jackie has been working in the lab on the reproduction of Montipora capitata on Oahu as part of her thesis, and goes on to a fabulous postdoc in Santa Barbara. We wish you all the best Dr. Jackie and can't wait to see those publications!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Congratulations Christian!

Congratulations to Christian Clark on becoming the 2011 Rolex Our World Underwater Scholar for North America! 

This is a huge achievement. This diving scholarship is both highly prized and highly fought after, and Christian will now spend the rest of the year traveling around the globe, diving with the world's best and brightest, learning new skills and forging his diving career. 

We all wish Christian the best in this new adventure!

Friday, February 18, 2011

The new laboratory

During the last few weeks the new Waller lab at the Darling Marine Center has been refurbished, and as of this week it is almost complete! Today was a big day, the Leica Microtome took up its new home. Up until this morning it has been living in a crate in the corridor, so it's an exciting moment to get our most used piece of equipment back in the lab and up and running! 

More photos to come as the lab gets unpacked and completed, but here is what it looks like so far. It's also just a week and a half before myself and Christian head to Alaska to work in the fjords just south of Juneau, so i'll start updating that blog next week with where we are with the project! 

Dr. W. 

The old and the new. The microtome on the floor on the right is the one I used when I was a graduate student (no, i'm not that old, but it was what we had available to use!). It's followed me here all the way from the Scottish Association of Marine Sciences (SAMS) in Oban, Scotland, quite the journey! It may be old, but it still works, but with this move i'm hoping to give it some much needed TLC and a place of pride in my office. 

The Leica takes up her new spot in the common use histology facility. Still need to shake up and pack away this part of the lab, but it's great to get the paraffin histology section up and running. 

The main lab, construction has mostly finished and some things have even been unpacked. This area of the lab will be the molecular and microscopy section. 

This paraffin processing station has been up and running for a few weeks now. Sample processing stops for no one!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Drake Passage Initial Interpretations paper published in PLoS ONE - Link - just in time for some serious preparation for the full cruise!

Dr. W.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Darling Marine Center

It's been a little over two weeks since I started to get settled at the Darling Marine Center, and I realised it's about time I updated on here! So much has been happening in the last few weeks, it's all been a bit of a blur. Here are some photos to recap and update you all on progress - we're moving forward with several exciting things and have some great projects getting going soon - from Alaska to Antarctica - so stay tuned!

Dr. W.

First off, there has been rather a lot of snow! Our lab mascot palm tree went out for a wander while technican  Christian was here to help unload and take part in a diving course. 
The Flowing Seawater Laboratory, home to the new Waller Laboratory after last weeks snow storm - a good 2ft came down in less than 24hrs! 
Friend of the lab Kate Buckman came down from New Hampshire to give some much needed unloading help! This is my new office, and storage area for all the lab gear until the lab next door is ready - it's undergoing some renovations at the moment. 
The POD container came and went - everything inside arrived safe and sound (aside from the odd Hawaiian cockroach that crept in there that didn't fair so well!)
Last week saw myself start an AAUS diving course (so I can dive in Alaska in March) and technician Christian take his drysuit certification (so he can also dive in Alaska in March). We're not crazy honest, it's actually quite toasty once you have all the gear on. 
The Polar Bear dive team - Diving Safety Officer Chris, Christian and myself. 

I'm getting used to the lack of geckos, cockroaches and mosquitos and having somewhat larger "friends" around instead. I have yet to see this creature around the Darling Marine Center grounds, but it has sure made a lot of tracks in the snow!