Hello, my name is Cris Rangel and I go to school at Santa Barbara City College in California. I will transfer to UCSB in the Fall of 2014 and major in biochemistry. I have lived by the coast my entire life and have always been fascinated by sea life. I decided to apply to the PRIME internship program so that I could have a chance to do some field work and research to decide if that was the path I wanted to take. My interest in marine biology began when I was still in elementary school and did my very first tide pooling. I was in awe at all the life I saw and was able to interact with and my interest only grew when I moved to Hawaii in 2005, which was when I discovered that I would major in biology.
My internship is sponsored by the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence Pacific Partnerships (COSEE - PP) through Promoting Research Investigations in the Marine Environment (PRIME). This summer I will work with Dr. Richard Emlet on determining the settlement patterns and rates of various fouling species - organisms that attach themselves to a hard substrate underwater - in the inner and outer boat basins in Charleston, OR. While working in the Emlet Lab at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB) I will focus specifically on the invasive colonial tunicate Didemnum vexillum (D. vexillum). One of its common names is marine vomit, and as illustrated by its appearance it is easy to see why.
It is currently only found in two locations in Oregon, here in Charleston and at the mouth of the Umpqua river in an area known as The Triangle. It is important to study D. vexillum because it outcompetes other organisms in aquaculture farms and is rapid to spread in already settled locations. It is also a threat to native species where it settles and can smother other organisms in competition for suitable substrate. One proposition made by a group of scientists was to simply scrape the tunicate off of its substrate to remove it, but D. vexillum has the ability to resettle after fragmentation and scraping it would simply help to increase its spread.
|Sunset Bay State Park|