A Guide to Hunting Aliens

Hello from Tjarno once again.  The hunting unfolds and we have decided to give you guys a crash course on Alien hunting! 

Image 1+2 Astronauts vs Marine Biologists

The idea behind this is to run through the basic skills you need to determine if there are Aliens around you. No, not the ones from outer space (yikes), the ones hiding below the surface of oceans where they have never been before coming from all corners of the earth (yikes). 

For the marine environment it’s a bit tricky but fear not we are well equipped.

Image 3 Well equipped
 You will need to have:
  1. Scuba or swim suite (According to the region)
  2. Chic waders
  3. Transect Line or rope (to measure area)
  4. Quadrats ( 25x25 square)
  5. Sampling buckets
  6. Scrapers
  7. CTD
  8. Note book
  9. Boat ( if you want to be fancy)   
Ok! So you have your gear, let’s go…

We have selected 4 sites for comparison in our area, the beautiful Tjärnö Bay to do our sampling. We chose these different types of hard structures in the bay:

Image 4 Sampling sites

Hopefully unlike us you will be jumping to more than 7 degree water (brrrr). We start by laying out a transect line and randomly collecting the samples within the quadrat.

Image 5 Basic Sampling
And there you have it Basic Sampling! (Harder than it sounds)
Now comes the least fun part, TAXONOMY, TAXONOMY, TAXONOMY (doom, doom, doom).
Team 5 has some of the best identifiers; Duarte and Jan are the seaweed specialists and Michael gets the kick out of Bryozoans and Barnacles. The smaller red and green algae are literally torture just ask Annika and Shanice, although it’s rewarding when you finally discover the difference between the many Polysiphonia species (red algae). Once we have the numbers we can start giving an idea of the Aliens (Marine Invasive Species) we collected and assessing the vulnerability of the area.

Image 6 Identification

Last but not least the movie maker and Arduino master mind Belinda finds creative ways to share our story with the world and builds the coolest gadgets. Don’t take this lightly guys, hours of editing is painful.

Image 7 Arduino Sensors (cool right)
But stay tuned because we have some exciting news to share!
“If there's something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? (Team 5 – the invaders)”


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