Dale Booth - Invasions Ecology Lab

Lewis and Clark College, Portland, OR

As part of the SERC Invasions lab, I spent much of my internship traveling with the lab collecting fouling plates and analyzing the population biology and community structure of marine invertebrates. Our lab has sites all around the USA and Australia and I traveled to several of them.  I worked in Virginia, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Alaska.

My personal project also involved fouling communities.  I looked at the influence of plate size and shape on species diversity. I also investigated whether or not there was a difference in the taxa that settle at the edges of plates vs the center. Past studies have found that there is a fairly consistent increase in species diversity as habitat size increases, but these studies have not taken into account possible edge effects associated with the shape of the habitat. A triangular plate of equal area to a square plate has a greater edge/area ratio which could influence the taxa that settle there. I compared these two shapes and also examined the species/area relationship.

My internship here at SERC has been an incredible experience. I had no experience with marine invertebrates when I started, but now a whole new system has been introduced to me that I may spend the rest of my life studying. It has strengthened my determination to go on to graduate school and continue in my studies. I would recommend it to anyone who is considering a career in research biology.

Marina in Kodiak, AK

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