|Michelle Schenk - Invasions
Tufts University, Boston, MA
As an intern in the
invasions lab, my primary task was to assist with the settling plate
project. The invasions lab
looks at settling plates deployed at marinas and ports primarily in the
Chesapeake Bay, Tampa Bay, and San Francisco Bay.
Temporal surveys compare plates deployed at the same site but left
in the water for different time periods (1, 3, 6, 9, 12 months) at the
three main sites. Spatial
surveys examine plates left out for three months during the summer at the
above locations, as well as in Kodiak Bay, AK and the Gulf Coast near
Corpus Christi, TX, and Galvaston, TX.
I was personally involved with analysis of Chesapeake Bay temporal
plates, Tampa Bay temporal and spatial plates, and spatial plates in
Texas. Plate analysis
includes a point count of the primary and secondary layers of organisms
that settled, and vouchering all types of organisms on the plate.
In addition to the
spatial and temporal surveys, I worked on a joint project with other
invasions interns that examined the effects of Molgula
manhattensis removal on species diversity of settling plate
communities in the Chesapeake Bay. We
used settling plates of four different sizes at two sites.
The first site, which had been previously shown to have high
numbers of M. manhattensis, had
120 plates of all sizes divided into three treatments:
M. manhattensis removed once per week, plate removed from the water
once per week but no M. manhattensis
removed, and plates left untouched for the duration of the experiment.
Our second site, which had been observed to have low numbers of M.
manhattensis, had 40 plates which we left untouched to serve as an
I also helped with Dr. Kelton Clark’s near-shore survey of the
estuaries near SERC. This survey was three-fold, and included seining for fish and
crabs, grass shrimp tethering to identify potential shrimp predators, and
sweeps for grass shrimp to determine population density at various depths.
Back to 2002 Interns