My name is Kaylynne Marquez and I have attended both Lane Community College and the University of Oregon (both located in Eugene, OR) as a biology undergraduate student. Spring 2013 was my first term dual-enrolled (attending both LCC and UO at the same time) at the University of Oregon. I have been interested in the ocean for as long as I can remember and decided at seven years old I wanted to study marine biology. Curiosity as to how marine organisms function has driven my interest throughout my childhood, all the way into adulthood. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California where living closely to the ocean allowed me the opportunity to spend a lot of time exploring the Southern California coast. In September 2010, I moved to Eugene. Despite being torn having to leave the sunny weather and warm beaches, moving to Oregon was the best decision I have ever made. Shortly after arriving, I began attending LCC where I met great students and extremely driven instructors.
My Biology 212 and 213 instructor, Stacey Kiser, is the reason I am here at OIMB (Oregon Institute of Marine Biology) this summer. One morning I walked into class and Stacey called me to the front of the room. She handed me the COSEE PRIME flyer and said, "I hope you're not doing anything this summer". Stacey has been the most supportive and encouraging instructor I have ever had, and she even wrote me the letter of recommendation for my COSEE PRIME application. I cannot thank her enough.
This summer I am working with Dr. Alan Shanks and his graduate students in the Shanks Lab at OIMB. His focus is on the dispersal and recruitment (the number of megalopae migrating from the open ocean and shelf environments to near-shore or estuarine benthic environments) of Cancer magister (Dungeness Crab). Once C.Magister molts from its final zoeal stage (free swimming larval stage adapted for pelagic life lasting 2-3 months; total of five zoeal stages) into the megalopal stage (terminal, recruiting stage specialized to find suitable benthic sites to settle; one megalopal stage), they are ready to return and develop into juveniles. There are many factors affecting the recruitment rate of C.magister. By using data from an 11-year time series, Dr. Shanks' aim is to explore the affect of atmospheric forcing, amount of upwelling, and the spring transition on the recruitment rate of C.magister. This research explores the possibility of predicting the commercial catch of Dungeness crabs from the number of returning megalopae.
Each day, I collect samples from the light trap at the end of dock F in the Charleston small boat harbor in Coos Bay, Oregon. The light trap captures returning megalopae, who are attracted to the string of LED lights located inside the trap, along with many other organisms. Then, I take the sample back to the Shanks Lab and begin counting targeted organisms under a dissecting microscope. I really enjoy this task because it allows me to familiarize multiple genera of larvae using Dr. Shanks' identifying key book.
I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to work with these amazing researchers who are thankfully very patient (I ask a lot of questions). I look forward to the rest of my time here and feel that it is already passing by too fast.
Image: Another Shanks Lab intern, Peyton (left), and I collecting the light trap sample on a beautiful day. I think we make a pretty great team!