A future for filter feeders

Hi there! Welcome to our blog on the EMBC+ spring school 2017!

We are enthusiastic marine biology students. For the following days, we’ll keep you up to date with our daily activities on the lovely island of Tjärnö in Sweden. Please meet the team!
From left to right: (Top) Maria Santos, Jessica Petereit, Elise Vissenaekens, Aleksandra Juszkiewicz, Heather Cyr, (Bottom) Ee Zin Ong (supervisor) and Dumas Deconcinck.

Together we are going to study the effect future global warming trends might have on commercial filter feeders, like mussels and oysters. More specifically, we’ll study how higher temperatures and less salty water influence their feeding and breathing. If the mussels and oysters are stressed, they are expected to eat less.

Today, we had a challenge setting up the experiment. First, we had to go to the island of Saltö for “musselhunting”. Like you can see in the group picture above, no spear- or archery-skills were needed. We took buckets, wading suits, spades, and knives with us. The water was freezing, and so were our hands since real hunters don’t use gloves. Despite the cold, we had a good harvest and left with plenty of prey.

After that, we set up the experiment which proved to be quite a puzzle, but we got through it together. We also put together these super cool sensors from a program called Arduino. We’ll use this to keep an eye on our tanks. Here’s a pic of Jess & Aleksa working on the tanks.

Fingers crossed we can get it up and running in time to start measuring on Saturday!
Greetings and we hope you enjoyed our first blogpost!


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